United States government has applauded Zimbabwe for the notable progress in strengthening its capacity to respond to cases of trafficking in persons in the past year.
According to the State Department Trafficking in Persons Report (June 2017), United States government noted that achievements were made during 2016- 2017 to increase efforts to investigate trafficking crimes.
“The (Zimbabwe) government made key achievements during the reporting period (2016- 17)… these achievements included increased efforts to investigate and prosecute alleged trafficking crimes.
“The government coordinated with Kuwait to repatriate and refer to care 121 female trafficking victims, and also repatriated five victims from Sudan,” says the report.
The US government commended Zimbabwe for launching its first national action plan and implementing several key activities in the plan.
Among these was the Anti-Trafficking Inter-Ministerial committee which developed terms of reference to guide front-line responders in a victim-centered approach and established two provincial taskforces to implement the national action plan at the provincial level. It also conducted training-of-trainers for police on victim identification interview procedures.
Meanwhile, briefing journalists, government officials and representatives of nongovernmental organizations at the US Embassy Public Affairs on Wednesday, Political Officer, Krista Fisher said as a result of these actions, Zimbabwe was upgraded to Tier 2 Watch List.
“Any country determined to be a country of origin, transit, or destination for at least two victims of trafficking in persons must be included in the TIP Report and assigned to one of four tiers,” said Fisher.
She added, “Countries assessed as fully meeting the U.S. Trafficking Victims Protection Act’s minimum standards for the elimination of human trafficking are classified as Tier 1 and countries assessed as not fully meeting the minimum standards, but making significant efforts to meet them, are classified as Tier 2.”
Previously Zimbabwe was ranked Tier 3, among countries assessed as not meeting the minimum standards nor making significant efforts to meet them.