AnAssessment of the Possible Impact of 2010 Fifa World Cup Trafficking of Women and Children on Malawi: Lessons from other countriesMavuto Bamusi(National Coordinator, Human Rights Consultative Committee – HRCC)
Assessment Methodology • The assessment is mainly based on documentary review • Main basis is research done by M-nact for Southern Africa • Additional literature sources include: • SADC declarations on human trafficking • ILO/IPEC study (Sept. 2008) on child trafficking in Malawi
Background/Introduction • Soccer comes with social satisfaction and is also an epi- center of commercial interests both at macro and micro levels • As the most popular sporting event, it attracts several actors. For example in Malawi, companies and individuals jostle for recognition and customer-ship. • These include TNM, Reserve Bank, the Police and even the Presidency through the much appreciated sponsorship to presidential cups. MPs also set up tournaments for various interests. No doubt, some have used soccer to entice voters. • Football therefore generates money, it commands social, economic & political power as well as influence
World Cup, Leisure and Sex • Sporting activities help the youth to keep busy and to refrain from smoking chamba as well as from indulging in sexual immorality which spread HIV and AIDS, so goes the argument • While this is true, the other side of the story is that some sporting events have been an effective trap for individuals to fall prey to unsuspecting perpetrators • During village football games and dusty street soccer matches, girls have failed to resist from “falling in love” with the best goal keeper or indeed the best penalty taker.
A Boost To the Sex Industry • Similarly, during big events like World Cup, it is not only the players, soccer administrators and national government representatives who travel for the games but thousands of soccer funs too. • By its very nature, soccer is associated with tourism and often times, encompasses sex pleasure • Soccer and World Cup in particular provides an opportunity for sex tourism and leads to a boom in the sex industry. • Yet this is an industry which is not taxed and its proceeds are not reflected in our GDP.
2010 Fifa World Cup • For the first time in the history of FIFA the African Continent, will, in 2010 host the World Cup, in South Africa • Angola will host the African Cup of Nations in which 48 of the 53 African Nations will be participating • Qualifying games will be played in various South African cities like Cape town, Durban, Port Elizabeth and others, as well as in neighboring countries such as Botswana, Namibia and Mozambique • While economic and commercial benefits are already being counted in Southern Africa, the question is: At what social cost?
Estimated Magnitude of 2010 World Cup • During June & July 2010, approximately: • 2.7 million local spectators will view 64 matches in various stadiums in South Africa & its neighbors; • 525,500 soccer-related international visitors are expected • They comprise: • 1,600 tournament players of 32 teams of some 50 players per team; • 14, 500 VIPs/dignitaries; • 500 soccer officials; and • 10,500 media personnel/reporters; • Most of these will arrive 2/3 weeks before the games • US$ 21.billion GDP is projected as total direct economic value to the host country, South Africa; • 159,000 new jobs (full-time/part time, permanent/temporary);
Lessons from Germany: On the eve of the 2006 German World Cup, Police authorities observed that the demand for prostitutes and the influx of prostitutes dramatically increased • The 4 week Germany World Cup is believed to have left huge boom on Germany’s sex industry with an estimated 40,000 young women/girls mainly from poorer European countries – many of whom were believed under age girls • It was an issue of concern especially in terms of women and children’s human rights.
Trends in Human Trafficking • Interpol estimates that today, human trafficking is the third largest source of profit for transnational criminal organizations after drug trafficking and weapons smuggling, fetching as much as US$19 billion-a-year. • United States State Department data indicates that each year 600,000-820,000 persons are trafficked across international borders, while 27 million are held in slavery worldwide • 80 per cent of the victims are women and girls • Up to 50 per cent are miners (children) • UNICEF already estimates that as many as 400,000 children/young women are annually trafficked between/beyond African borders into commercial exploitation and this includes for prostitution purposes
Human Trafficking in Southern Africa • South Africa’s Institute for Security Studies states that some 500 organized crime gangs, mainly from Nigeria, Malawi, Mozambique and Zambia operate in South Africa alone. • Trafficking gangs traffic Mozambican women to South Africa, where they are sold as ‘wives’ to people who work on the mines near Johannesburg. • Research shows that South African young women are offered false job offers and then forced into prostitution in Macau, a former Portuguese colony now under Chinese control • Mozambique and Malawi share borders and have some cultural similarities. More than 1,000 Mozambican women and children are each year trafficked into prostitution and/or cheap labour in South Africa
Southern Africa vulnerable • Since the beginning of this year, Mozambican authorities have rescued more than 200 people who were trafficked to South Africa under the pretext of employment • Studies indicate that Zambia & Namibia are similarly affected • A report by the regional office of the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime says that ‘drug trafficking syndicates are already targeting South Africa in an attempt to cash in on a lucrative market’ towards 2010. • A common feature for southern African countries is that they lack adequate legislation, policy frameworks and implementation procedures for prosecuting traffickers.
Anticipated problem in 2010 • In Oct 2007, the office of the Registrar of Companies in Cape Town was already swarmed by international companies applying to open Massage Parlors in the city at the rate of 3 per week • He called on the authorities and Civil Society Organizations to be on the alert as the problem of human trafficking might escalate prior and during the Games with possibility of spilling the negative impact on the entire Southern Africa region as a whole
(cont): Anticipated problem • In April last year, the South African National Police Commissioner, in anticipation of thousands of soccer hooligans requested Parliament to urgently consider legalizing prostitution prior to the 2010 games • He argued that it would be very difficult for the Police to arrest a soccer-fan who decided to seek pleasure on the streets just because prostitution is currently not illegal • He added that SA Police would not have the capacity to police the levels of prostitution and prostitution demands that would characterize the 2010 games
Expected Human Trafficking Crisis • The South African Police believes that South Africa would be in a prostitution dilemma • However the parliamentarians dismissed the proposal to legalize prostitution simply because of 2010. • In Namibia, the Deputy Minister of Safety and Security, Hon. Gabes Shihepo, was quoted as calling for police preparedness to maintain tight security during these events
The Extent of Risk for Prostitution and Child Trafficking • Interviews among street prostitutes in South Africa, Zambia, Namibia, Swaziland and Namibia indicated that as long ago as the beginning of 2007, many young girls and women started trekking to Johannesburg in readiness for 2010 • They claim that if they arrive in Johannesburg too close to the games’ period, they would not cope with the competition and aggression that characterizes such events • Research shows that many children in Southern Zambia are being sold for ZK2 million (K50,000.00) per child and disappearing into Botswana and South Africa, supposedly en-route to Cape Town and Johannesburg
Girls Trekking to South Africa • In Manzini, Swaziland, one newly established night club is already invaded by foreign teenage girls who entertain high class night life patrons completely nude. • These young girl’s revelers are truly international – from Africans, to Japanese, Indians, Europeans and Chinese. • It is believed that this is a satellite of the build up to the 2010 pleasures. The girls tell of their pending transition to South Africa
Increase in Trek to RSA • Namibia -Most of the 45 prostitutes interviewed in between July & Sept 2008 were well aware about the 2010 Soccer Games in the region. • 9 of their friends had already left for South Africa • 2 prostitutes cited law enforcement agents & truck drivers who are taking girls across Oshikango Border post to Angola • Zambia -Interviews with 60 Lusaka City-based street prostitutes in 2008 estimated over 100 girls aged between 15 & 24-years had left for South Africa.
More Trekking to Jo’burg • In Zimbabwe, the media has already reported a sex tourism syndicate recruiting high class prostitutes in readiness for 2010; while • Kenyan research in Mombasa shows a recruitment drive for young targeted for South Africa in readiness for 2010 • The link with the Mozambican situation -This is evidenced by the region’s on-going test-Court case in a Pretoria Court of a Mozambican woman who, in April this year was arrested in Johannesburg in company of 3 adolescent girls she had recruited & trafficked into Johannesburg’s prostitution industry. • These 3 girls would join an estimated 38,000 child prostitutes, most of them from South Africa’s neighboring countries of Mozambique, Malawi, Swaziland, Zimbabwe, & Zambia
Trafficking in Malawi • Malawi, like other developing countries, faces a growing problem of child trafficking. • The full extent of child trafficking in Malawi is not widely known, but in recent years increasing awareness has resulted in better reporting and understanding of the problem. • Reports of child trafficking by the media, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and government departments such as the Police, Social Welfare and Labour have been increasing in recent years.
Recent Research on Trafficking in Malawi • In 2007, the Government of Malawi through the Ministry of Women and Children’s Affairs, with funding from ILO and the Malawi Human Rights Resource Centre, commissioned the Millennium Centre for Research and Development (MCRD) to conduct a study in order to assess the nature and magnitude of child trafficking and to review the current legal and policy frameworks on child trafficking in Malawi, before making preliminary recommendations.
Lack of Legislation in Malawi • The study found that although Malawi is a party to various Conventions and International Instruments that provide against child trafficking, current domestic law aimed at addressing child trafficking is lacking in many respects. • The Government of Malawi currently prohibits all forms of trafficking through existing laws, including sections 135 to 147 and 257 to 269 of the penal code, Chapter 7:01. • However, a lack of specific anti-trafficking legislation makes prosecution more challenging and allows a limited range of punishments to be meted out to convicted traffickers.
No Policy for Victim Support in Malawi • Further, there is no law or policy aimed at providing legal assistance or information to presumed victims of child trafficking. • Indeed, there is no law or policy specifically relating to the status or treatment of victims of trafficking. • The Malawi Law Commission is currently in the process of drafting a bill on Human Trafficking in general. • According to the existing draft, provision has been made for an internationally accepted definition of trafficking, which includes all induced transit of children for labour, regardless of apparent consent.
Lack of Identification System in Malawi • The study also found that there is need for better identification of trafficked children in order to better recognise and more deeply understand the problem. • There is a need for greater awareness of child trafficking, both in theory and in practical terms. • The study also highlights the lack of unified data collection and storage systems among the different stakeholders working in the area of child protection.
Lack of Information on Trafficking • There is thus a need to periodically update all the relevant information and data collection on child trafficking using the National Statistical Office and other stakeholders. • A national child trafficking database with a standardised entry system for all stakeholders would be desirable. • There is a great need to improve awareness and coordination among the different organisations involved. • The National Committee on Child Protection could play a crucial role in coordinating between different agencies at national, regional, district and local levels. • Although the magnitude of child trafficking cannot be accurately verified, because of the hidden nature of the problem, ignorance about child trafficking among law enforcement officers and communities actually worsens the situation.
Seasonality of Trafficking in Malawi • The study established that there is a seasonal element to child trafficking, especially with regard to children trafficked to work in tobacco estates and girls employed as commercial sex workers and in restaurants. • Most of the male children trafficked internally are intended for livestock herding or agricultural labour; female children are mainly trafficked for domestic service or to work in restaurants and bars, particularly during the crop marketing season. • Child trafficking in Malawi – particularly internal trafficking for exploitative labour – is fuelled by poverty, illiteracy, lack of awareness, lack of resources and weak policies. • Children as young as 10 – mostly school drop outs and orphans – are trafficked in particular from Thyolo, Mulanje, Dedza, Ntcheu, Salima and Nsanje districts. The main destinations include major cities, district headquarters and estates in Mchinji, Kasungu and Mzimba. • This makes it clear that events like the 2010 can affect Malawi
Malawi’s Borders Too Porous • The study also established that cross border trafficking occurs, with Zambia the most frequent destination, followed by Mozambique. • Porous borders with these two neighbouring countries make it difficult to address this problem in the absence of meaningful international collaboration. • However, this study did not find evidence of long distance external trafficking, although there is a perception that some children are trafficked to Europe. • Parents, children and local leaders are almost ignorant about child trafficking and its risks. • In Dedza for instance, young girls are trafficked for prostitution. • In some cases communities know the traffickers, but regard them as philanthropic society members, thus hindering attempts to stop or prosecute perpetrators.
Causes of Trafficking • Economic and social hardships (poverty) which pushes children and women into destitution, vulnerability and exploitation • ILO estimates Africa’s youth joblessness is twice that of the rest of the world • Africa’s unemployment rate stands at 10.3% compared to the World average of 6.3% • Inadequate and/or total lack of social services • Inadequate and/or total lack of legislation • Inadequate law enforcement capacity • Such vulnerability is compounded by circumstances of individual persons and their family day-to-stories
Causes of Trafficking and Vulnerability towards 2010 • In South Africa, the poorest people classified by the Johannesburg municipality as ‘unsafe’ are reported to face eviction from inner-city suburbs across the country ahead of the 2010 World Cup football • A battle is currently raging-on between representatives of the municipality, the squatters and the High Court • While the municipality argues that it requires space to construct some 235 viable buildings that include hotels and apartments, the squatters maintain that such evictions will render them homeless since the municipality has not provided them with alternative accommodation • Over 250 evicted shack dwellers are already squashed in makeshift leaking tents • Thousands of vulnerable persons in South Africa and neighboring states may therefore see 2010 games as an opportunity be to make ends meet through prostitution • Those that have fallen prey to vulnerability include an estimated 40,000 street prostitutes in Cape Town & Johannesburg, many of whom are from neighboring countries & 50% of who are HIV positive.
Government’s Responses: Cleaning Exercises • in order for African host governments to rid such undesirable elements, they round them up, haul them in huge trucks, and drive them far into the country side and dump them there until the end of the events when the guests and dignitaries leave • Such was the case during the 1985 Nairobi Women’s World Conference when prostitutes and street children and families were dumped in the coastal city of Mombasa, • The Beijing Women World Conference when prostitutes and poor city shanty dwellers were dumped in rural villages • The Kampala (Uganda) Commonwealth Summit where Ethics and Integrity minister ordered that sex workers must not operate in the city streets during the summit on the basis that prostitution is a criminal offence that attracts a 7-year unbailable imprisonment’, and insisted that ‘asking him where the prostitutes should go was like asking him where the thieves are taken’ and that ‘people clamouring for the legalization of prostitution ahead of the summit were wasting their time’.
Recommendations • SADC countries including Malawi need to ensure they are prepared to counter possible dramatic drift into prostitution and trafficking for sexual exploitation ahead of 2010 WC games • Between now and 2010, the Malawi and the region needs to ensure there are adequate laws to protect children and women against sexual exploitation in accordance with their commitments to the regional and international human rights instruments • Social services (care/support/recovery/reintegration) to protect those who fall victims should be in place. The current Malawi budget should have built in increased allocation for Women and Child development. • Engage FAM, Malawi Government and parliament, SADC governments, National Football Associations, FIFA, the transport and hospitality industry and other related service organizations into dialogue • Embark on a massive public awareness and sensitization campaign. These should be a joint effort between Government of Malawi and civil society. • Put in place stronger monitoring and border surveillance systems
Recommendations • The University of Malawi, research institutions and the academia, need to support the capacity to create evidence-based information that could guide and motivate governments to institute forward-looking social/economic policies and laws that protect vulnerable children and women from possible sexual exploitation/trafficking arising out of the 2010 WC games; • Together with other players, they could prepare and put into place appropriate service-delivery mechanisms for prevention, care & support • Ensure Malawi government and other SADC countries put in place adequate policies and laws to counter human social vulnerability before 2010 • Malawi should move towards domesticating regional and international human rights instruments meant to curb trafficking in persons especially those targeting women and children.
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