Nearly 50 cases of human trafficking were registered in Rwanda last year, an official of the Rwanda Investigation Bureau (RIB) said on Thursday.
The RIB Secretary General Col. Jeannot Ruhunga was speaking at a law enforcement officers and criminal justice practitioners’ workshop in the capital Kigali.
“Last year alone, RIB recorded 49 cases involving 80 victims, 78 suspects were apprehended and 25 victims rescued and repatriated to their respective countries,” said Ruhunga.
He stressed that Rwanda is among the countries affected by human trafficking.
For the last five years, over 189 cases of human trafficking and people smuggling involving 378 victims were recorded, he said.
The victims are normally lured, some on internet with promise of bogus well-paying jobs and taken to countries such as those in the Middle East using Kenya as the route.
We cannot deny that most of the countries in the world are affected by the crime of trafficking in human beings, whether as an origin, transit or destination country for smuggled migrants by profit-making criminals, he said.
Over the years, according to him, trafficking in human beings, especially women and children has posed a serious challenge in all regions but most seriously the Central and East Africa region.
He said trafficked people are subjected to life-threatening risks and exploitation such as intense forced labor, sexual exploitation, while some have lost their organs, and others died as a result.
According to Ruhunga, there is need to adopt strategies on a global scale to stop the crime of human trafficking.
He reiterated Rwandan government and RIB’s commitment to support and collaborate with organizations and countries in combating human trafficking crime.
The workshop on Combating Trafficking in Human Beings with a Multi-stakeholders’ approach is being attended by participants from about 13 countries in Central and East Africa.
Participants are discussing how to address challenges encountered during investigation, prosecution of the trans-boundary offence and how to strengthen cooperation.
The workshop is among other capacity building efforts that are put forward under the INTERPOL umbrella and other key partners.