Monday, May 18, 2015

Why human trafficking deal finds easy access in Tanzania

As the habit of human trafficking and illegal immigration is becoming rampant in the country, the government has been asked to review some of the penal codes so as to impose harsh punishments with a view to deter people who facilitate such cross border illegal business deals. Speaking exclusively this week in Dar es Salaam, the Deputy Commissioner of Immigration Services, Abbas Irovya said that, dealers of illegal human trafficking and illegal immigrants finds easy access in the country due to less severe punishments imposed to them once caught with the offense. Despite having a series of changes on laws of Anti-human trafficking Act 2008 and that of Immigration Act N0. 7 Cap 54 of 1995 which was revised in 2002, human trafficking and illegal immigration is still a great challenge in the country, he affirmed. Irovya who a lawyer by profession noted that, the country’s laws are outdated and needs to be reviewed to match with current situation in order to curb the menace which seems to be growing at a high speed. He said under the current laws  “facilitators are normally fined or sent to jail for failure of paying fines once found guilty an aspect that most of them resort to pay fines and walk free or deported, the penalty that is not enough to enable eradicate the increased phenomenon in the country”. He outlined some of the sections that are ignored and not adhered to as 31(1) L, 31 (1) P and 31(1) Q of the Immigration Act that prohibits harboring illegal immigrants. The latter section prohibits an employer from employing a foreigner without work permit. When asked why Tanzania has become so prone to human trafficking he noted that it is because of its strategic geographical position that people from Ethiopia who are mostly notorious of such malpractices finds easy access through on their way to South Africa. He noted that, Ethiopians collude with few untrustworthy Tanzania nationals who help facilitate their movements a factor that is illegal to the existing laws of the country. 

Deputy Commissioner of Immigration Services, Abbas Irovya 

 The business which he says is becoming so lucrative is a syndicate that is well planned and organized by unknown people and penetrated through due to easy global communication link that helps information access through by use of mobile phones. He has however, suggested that, the government should impose punitive measures that would include not only long jail term in prisons, but also even the confiscation of the properties including houses on which such illegal immigrants are being accommodated while on transit. He further noted that, to a certain extent the immigration dept in the country has managed to control such movements across the border following the installation of a special electronic device called ‘immigration control equipment’ that has helped a lot to capture people’s information especially those they suspect. He said the equipment has other roles to play of detecting people who involves in cross border crimes such as the illegal drug trafficking. However, he has called on people in the country from district level to regional to help the government reveal people who engage in such types of crimes at this time when the nation prepares for October general election. In 2013, about 30,000 foreigners were arrested in te country alongside national aimed to seek for illegal immigrants in the country dubbed ‘Operation Kimbunga’ and charged with different counts for illegal stay in the country. The latest statistics by Immigration department shows that, in 2014 along about 7,468 foreigners from 47 countries in the world were arrested in connected with illegal stay in the country and among them 1910 came from Ethiopia, out of these 2,200 were taken to court and convicted of various offenses according to law. Among them 243 were convicted and fined and 367 jailed, while 560 of them were set free and over 600 have still their cases in court up to now. While among the list earlier arrested 2,600 were deported. From African countries, Ethiopians poses a great threat to illegal immigrants, and other countries are Burundi, Rwanda, DRC, Kenya and Uganda. Other countries are India, USA and German. World widely, there are 20.9 million victims of human trafficking and it is the world’s second largest criminal enterprise followed by illegal drug trafficking.

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