ONE of the basic principles of Christianity is to show love to one another and therefore the move by the Anglican church to uphold the dignity and humanity of every individual by fighting human trafficking is commendable.
It has been reported that the Anglican Church plans to conduct a campaign against human trafficking.
According to reports, the church has identified human trafficking as a major human rights issue that is common across the country.
Human trafficking is akin to slavery, where a person is seen as a commodity to be used at the whim of an individual.
Unfortunately perpetrators are usually ignorant of the long term and extensive effects that this vice has on society.
The most common form of human trafficking is the movement of relatives from the rural areas to town to act as house help. Typically it is a young girl who is expected to take up household chores of cleaning, cooking and tending children with no pay and no possibility of attending school.
Many of these young girls are not able to speak the language and very often are preyed upon by male family members of other men in the community. Often they have nowhere to run to and suffer abuse for years, very often opting to take up a life on the street or entering into abusive marriages simply to escape the yoke of forced and unpaid labour.
Victims of human trafficking often do not have any viable option for a decent livelihood.
A good number of children living on the streets are as a result of human trafficking due to children opting for a better life outside of abuse ridden homes.
In this vein, human trafficking is definitely a scourge that requires a concerted effort to fight.
Victims require rehabilitation and skills training to help them regain dignity and give them an opportunity to contribute positively to society.
Archbishop of Central Africa and Bishop of Northern Zambia Albert Chama said the church has chosen to supplement governments’ effort, noting that human trafficking is a common concern globally.
This vice has global, international, cross border, local and community implications and it cannot be ignored.
Bishop Chama said the initiative is being implemented under the Anglican Alliance board based in London which has segmented into provinces.
He explained that the alliance deals with issues that are considered de-humanizing.
“Yes we are a church but we are saying we are a stakeholder in everything that affects our community and trafficking has been identified as one scourge that needs our input. This will help us understand what role we can play in this fight,” he said.
The initiative by the Anglican Church in Zambia to partner with stakeholders to combat human trafficking has been lauded by the government.
Kitwe District Commissioner Chileshe Bweupe described human trafficking as a tragedy that has become lucrative for organised crime that violates various human rights.
Speaking when he addressed stakeholders participating in a consultative meeting convened at Anglican multipurpose hall in Kitwe, Mr. Bweupe observed that women and children are primary victims of trafficking.
Mr Bweupe said it was imperative that stakeholders bring to the fore the issue of trafficking and allow participation of all sectors if the human trafficking has to be done away with.
He pointed out that the church has an important role of working with people on the grass root by giving them the right information which can be shared with the primary affected victims.
He also said that secrets on trafficking are a barrier in communities because victims of trafficking are happening within their localities.
“I want to acknowledge the investment that Anglican Church has pumped into ending of gender based violence (GBV) at community level country wide.
“I want to thank the church for partnering with government departments namely police, immigration, social welfare as well as other stakeholders because the scourge can only be dealt effectively with if everyone is involved,” he said.
Mr. Bweupe has since implored other churches in the district to join the fight against human trafficking.
The fact that human trafficking is a global vice, means that it needs a global effort to wipe out and to this end the Anglican church should be supported by all in its drive to end human trafficking.