Local CSOs deplore difficult reintegration of victims of human trafficking in Burundi

On the occasion of the celebration of the World Day Against Trafficking in Persons this 30 July, local civil society organizations say there is still a long way to go as far as the reintegration of Burundian victims of human trafficking into the community is concerned.

Some victims of human trafficking intercepted on their way to another destination

SOJPAE, an association of Christian youth advocating for peace and children says it has recorded 132 victims of human trafficking reintegrated into their families from March 2018 until now.
David Ninganza, SOJPAE spokesperson says most of these victims come from the Gulf countries. “They are in two categories including young women who deserted their husbands and minors who were manipulated while searching for “good work”, he says.

This human rights defender says the recruitment of these victims takes place in their native locality by people who know them well. “These accomplices target people who are easily manipulated,” says Ninganza.

He says the integration of victims back into their families is somewhat difficult. “We have difficulty convincing the families to welcome these victims as they left them without informing them,” he says adding that it is also difficult to eradicate human trafficking in a country where unemployment remains high.

The same view is shared by Isidore Nteturuye, National Coordinator of the federation of associations involved in defending child rights -FENADEB.
He says returnees are very few compared to those who leave the country. “It is still hard to integrate them back into their families. They come back poor and very few succeed to live their earlier lifestyle,” he says.

Mr. Nteturuye says the socio-economic situation of the country discourages these young people and pushes them to seek a better life overseas. “When they arrive there, they are exploited. They are subject to slavery”, he says.
FENADEB recorded 406 cases of human trafficking in 2018. “And many other cases probably remain unknown”, says Nteturuye.

FENADEB coordinator urges parents to be more vigilant. “Those who recruit them are always around. Children with no occupation especially during holidays are more exposed,” he says adding that trafficking in persons is a serious crime that can be described as a crime against humanity.
On 10 July, Gaston Sindimwo, First Deputy President proceeded with the official launch of the project against human trafficking in Burundi from 2019 to 2022. He said the project was timely because an ad hoc commission of experts mandated by the concerned ministries had just completed the drafting of the integrated anti-trafficking plan document for the 2019-2022 period.