Over 3000 students from five secondary schools in Ruhango District have been sensitized on global threat of human trafficking as part of the continued preventive efforts against the modern-day slavery.
The mayor of Ruhango, Francois Xavier Mbabazi, who headed the campaign, reminded the students that the first line of prevention rests in their hands to understand the reality of human trafficking and not to be taken way by promises from either strangers or people who would attempt to shutter their education dreams on the expense of better offers abroad.
Present was also the District Police Commander (DPC), Chief Inspector of Police (CIP) Jean Bosco Ndayisabye.
The students are from Ruhango TTC, Lycee Ikirezi, Sainte Trinite Secondary School, Ruhango Secondary School and Bethel College.
The Mayor noted that such human rights violations impact on the country’s human resource.
“Understand that this is a real threat that knows no borders and can happen anywhere including in Rwanda. Don’t be taken away by worldly this because the consequences are severe and in some cases victims are killed just to get organs from them,” Mbabazi said.
He noted that the government prioritized education, among the essential sectors, to develop skillful and competent human resource, which they should focus on instead of risking their lives in the name of jobs or better education abroad which ends up on the wrong side of the world.
The DPC also noted that although victims are sometimes taken by use of force, threat or abduction, as has been the case in other countries, which methods are yet to be reported in Rwanda, majority are deceived or manipulated due to their vulnerability.
“Some traffickers try to be so good or befriend you and try by all means to manipulate you not to reveal any information to anyone on the given deal. Always inform people or Police on such offers such that this act is prevented and those involved arrested,” he said
He added that a significant feature of human trafficking is the promise of jobs, opportunities for school and a better life, usually in a foreign country.
“Traffickers want their victims for forced sexual exploitation and forced labour. Rwanda National Police is actively involved in this awareness so as no one falls victim, and it should as well be your responsibility.”
“Any person, who plays part by either finding victims, processing a visa, picking them at the airport, employing them or reselling them, commits a crime against humanity which is punishable by local and international laws,” he added.
“We want all people to be mindful of what they do, hear or requested to do. If, for example, you agree to help another person obtain a visa, get employment as they claim, you should be beyond doubt that what you are doing is lawful,” the DPC told students.
It is said that some traffickers pretend to be looking for either maids or people to work in their companies, hotels or other businesses and in some cases they use other people including relatives and friends of the victims to lure the unsuspecting individuals, especially girls.