Rwanda receives $1.36m to tackle human trafficking
KIGALI, RWANDA- RWANDA will intensify vigilance in the onslaught against human trafficking, thanks to a new USD 1.36 million grant from USAID.
Human trafficking appears to be on the rise lately, putting local law enforcement on heightened alert, especially at the country’s borders and its Kigali International Airport. Last week, a project management agreement was signed between USAID and the International Organiza-
tion for Migration (IOM), the implementing agency, a press statement said. The two-year project will help improve knowledge, enforcement and coordination in counter trafficking and prosecution of criminals behind the networks. It will be implemented under Rwanda’s One UN framework, with Rwanda’s Ministry of Gender and Family Promotion, undertaking comprehensive research on trafficking trends in the country. It is also expected to strengthen capacity of government and civil society organizations through training, awareness and research to effectively respond to cases of human trafficking. Training will be provided to civil society organizations and national academic partners to enhance their awareness of human trafficking issues and support research on the same in the country. Under the arrangement, a national action plan on trade of persons will be updated and law enforcement officials trained with advanced techniques on how to detect human trafficking activities, identify and refer trafficked persons. Officers will also be provided with new and improved equipment to prosecute perpetrators. Rwandan Police and Immigration officials last week intercepted 12 Burundian nationals, enroute to Saudi Arabia and Qatar through Rwanda under a suspected cartel, ostensibly to be offered jobs. The victims, 11 of them female were intercepted at Akanyaru borderline on January 10, alongside three suspected traffickers, among them a Burundian national and two Kenyans. The trio was arrested promptly. Police records show at least 30 Rwandan potential victims of human trafficking were rescued in 2015, either located in countries where they were trafficked or intercepted before crossing the Rwandan borders, over the last two years. Twenty-three of the victims were girls.