By John Chimunhu|
Desperate Zimbabwean women and girls are being lured to border towns and foreign countries where they are forced into prostitution, a major U.S. government study has revealed.
According to the damning U.S. State Department 2014 Trafficking in Persons Report on Zimbabwe, sex trafficking remains a severe problem and the government is not doing enough to curb the abuses.
The U.S. government this year kept Zimbabwe in the ‘blacklist’ Tier 3 category reserved for non-compliant countries like Vietnam and Belarus. Launching the report in June, Secretary of State John Kerry said Tier 3 countries will not be eligible for non-humanitarian assistance from Washington.
“Women and girls from Zimbabwean towns bordering South Africa, Mozambique and Zambia are subjected to prostitution in brothels that cater to long-distance truck drivers on both sides of the borders. Some victims of sex trafficking are subsequently transported across the border to South Africa where they suffer continued exploitation,” the report says.
It says many Zimbabwean women and children willingly migrate to South Africa, often with the help of taxi drivers who transport them to the Beitbridge border or nearby.
“Some of the migrants are then transferred to criminal gangs that subject them to violent attacks, rape, deception, and, in some cases, forced prostitution in Musina, Pretoria, Johannesburg and Durban,” the report said.
“Women and girls are also lured to Zambia, China, Egypt, the United Kingdom and Canada and subjected to sex trafficking. There has been an increase in reports of trafficking cases involving Zimbabwean women lured to China under the pretense of professional or hospitality-sector jobs; reports indicate some of these women are subjected to sex trafficking.”
The report cites several cases, including that of two women who were promised merchandising jobs in Angola, only be forced into prostitution on arrival.
In another case, Zimbabwe officials were called in to rescue a female victim of sex trafficking in China.
(c) 2014 Kingdom Television.