Botswana’s illegal immigrants prone to human trafficking
A victim of torture in the Sinai Desert. Illegal immigrants in Botswana have been singled out at the most susceptible group to human trafficking by a US report PHOTO | HOTLINE FOR MIGRANT WORKERS |
By MTOKOZISI DUBE in GaboronePosted Friday, July 27 2012 at 13:01
The report, released recently, said Botswana is a source and destination for human trafficking with women and children subjected to forced labour.
Human traffickers in the southern African country are said to be targeting mainly jobless Zimbabwean immigrants, those living in poverty, farm workers and children orphaned by HIV/Aids.
“Some parents in poor rural communities send their children to work for wealthier families as domestic servants or as herders where some become victims of forced labour,” read part of the report.
Batswana (Botswana nationals) who employ Zimbabwean domestic workers reportedly restrict or control the movements of these workers or threaten to have them deported to their native country as a means to maintain their labour.
“Young Batswana serving as domestic workers for extended family in some cases may be subjected to confinement, verbal, physical or sexual abuse and denied access to education and basic necessities; conditions indicative of forced labour.”
The report further states that Batswana girls are exploited in prostitution within the country including in bars and by truck drivers along the major highways.
The report further revealed that Indian and Pakistan nationals are brought to the Botswana for forced labour in the agricultural sector by traffickers of the same nationalities.
Recently some victims of trafficking reported non-payment of wages, also claiming that their travel documents were being withheld.