By Jean de Dieu Nsabimana
With the increasing uptake of technology in the country, new crimes are emerging and the sophistication with which they are committed is on the rise.
Among these crimes is human trafficking.
Amidst this, Rwanda Investigations Bureau (RIB) has called on parents to constantly engage their children about dangers of human trafficking and to not fall in traps that hundreds of youths have already fallen into.
According to Colonel Jeannot Ruhunga, the Secretary General of RIB, most of the victims are hoodwinked into believing that they are going for high-paying jobs and end up into slavery.
He was addressing residents of Rwamagana on Tuesday as part of the ongoing Justice Week.
This year alone, he said, the bureau counts 49 human trafficking victims, all girls, repatriated to Rwanda from different countries.
“Girls had been to different countries, especially in Gulf States such as Kuwait, Saudi Arabia while others were from neighbouring countries, including Uganda,” he said.
The victims are duped into believing they would get lucrative jobs and end up in slavery instead, Ruhunga said.
This year, government has already helped 20 human trafficking victims back to the country from Kuwait, five from Saudi Arabia and “more than ten” from Uganda.
“All of them had left the country thinking that they would get good life. But these are lies they are fed by unscrupulous individuals who are part of the racket,” he said.
Many of the victims leave without the consent of their families and drop out of school and when they get to their destination, these middlemen confiscate their travel documents.
They then end up being sold into forced labour, slavery, or prostitution.
“In some cases, they are killed and dismembered and organs such as kidneys, liver, heart, and so on are removed,” he said.
He blamed the increase in the vice to technology where it has become easy to pick conversation with a complete stranger through social media platforms.
“One person sits here and communicates with somebody in China, who sends them fake pictures, promises them miracles, send them ticket, the girl or boy jumps at what they believe is an opportunity,” he said.
According to Ruhunga, the majority of public have not been sensitised about the vice but with partner institutions, they will step up the sensitisation.
Major actions have already been taken, he said, including increasing vigilance by border security personnel.
“Most of them are returned home after being stopped at the airport before they depart, because they have failed to give necessary explanations,” Ruhunga declared.
“She or he says ‘I am going to Cameroon,’ who do you know there?’Nobody,’ they say. Where exactly are you heading? They do not know. And then they eventually show you a number, and they say, ‘this person is my friend’. Where do you know them? ‘We talk often’, have you seen them? The answer is in most cases no,” he narrates.
In such case, the person is returned right away.
Then these people are linked with those that returned to educate them on the dangers of such journeys.
“They inform them how they fell in such trap and the consequences they faced,” he noted.
According to officials, there is an office in the Ministry of Gender and Family Promotion that has responsibility to link these people.
The Justice Week runs from March 18-22, intends to raise awareness about such emerging crimes as human trafficking and cybercrimes.
Source The New Times