THE International Organisation for Migration (IOM) says it has located the parents of the 11 teenage girls in the border town of Nakonde who allegedly sold their daughters to Tanzanian businessmen. And Government has rescued a girl who was allegedly trafficked from her home district of Vubwi in Eastern Province to Malawi by unknown people last month. IOM chief of mission Andrew Choga said in Lusaka yesterday that the United Nations (UN) agency has engaged the parents in talks and efforts to locate the girls in Tanzania and to bring them back home have started. Dr Choga said IOM is working with Zambian and Tanzanian governments to locate the girls. He said traditional and community leaders in both countries are willing to help. “Authorities in Dar-es-Salaam have been informed about this development and they are being very helpful,” he said. Dr Choga said he is optimistic that the girls will soon be found and returned home. He also said IOM will ensure that the girls return to school and continue with their education when brought back home. IOM will organise sensitisation workshops on human trafficking for people living near the border so that they can be made aware of the dangers and consequences of the vice. Last week, the Zambia Daily Mail exposed a child trafficking syndicate in which Tanzanian businessmen have allegedly bought 11 girls aged between 11 and 17 at K36,000 each from some parents in Nakonde. Four of the 11 girls were rescued by a combined team of Zambian security wings. Nakonde district commissioner James Singoyi said it is suspected that the children are being engaged in illegal sexual activities although they were being taken to Tanzania under the pretext that they would work as housemaids. Meanwhile, police in Vubwi have rescued a girl who was allegedly trafficked to Malawi by unknown people last month. Vubwi district commissioner Enelesi Banda said in an interview yesterday that police suspect that the girl was kidnapped before being trafficked to Malawi. She said, however, that the girl is now safe and has been re-united with her family. “The traffickers are not yet known,” she said. Eastern Province commissioner of police Grace Chipalila could not ascertain the age of the girl.
Zambia Daily Mail