150 Rwandans trafficked abroad in three years

On 9 January 2023 at 06:14

Figures from Rwanda Investigation Bureau (RIB) show that at least 150 Rwandans were trafficked abroad in three years from 2020 to 2022.

In 2020, RIB received 33 cases involving 36 human trafficking victims (seven male and 29 female).

The number increased in 2021 where RIB registered 17 cases involving 66 trafficked individuals including 22 men and 44 women.

In 2022, the number dropped as RIB recorded 48 human trafficking victims (six men and 42 women) in 33 cases.

The Bureau has also revealed that 68 of the 150 human trafficking victims were aged below 18, 68 were aged between 18-30 while the remaining 14 individuals were aged above 30.

In 2020, human trafficking victims aged below 18 were 15, 17 were aged between 18 and 30 while four were aged above 30.

Meanwhile, 27 individuals aged below 18 were trafficked in 2021, 32 were aged between 18 and 30 while seven were aged above 30.

As for last year, RIB indicates that 26 victims were aged below 18, 19 were aged between 18 and 30 while three were aged above 30.

RIB indicates that 41 victims have been repatriated (19 in 2022, 11 in 2021, and 11 in 2020) and sent back from different countries in Asia, the Middle East, and West Africa. Meanwhile, 24 victims were intercepted at airports and borders heading to Asian countries, the Middle East and West Africa.

Speaking to The New Times, RIB spokesperson, Thierry Murangira, disclosed that some people repatriated, or intercepted, “change tricks to find their way to those countries again.”

He said that these victims are counseled when they are brought back because “some feel that RIB is against their chances” and end up finding other ways to go back.

Commenting on tactics used by perpetrators to con the victims, Murangira mentioned promises of a better job, and internship, among others.

Murangira said the number is not alarming and that there are measures in place to fight human trafficking, seen in the decreasing number.

RIB urges people to be very careful and conscious whenever someone approaches them with job promises, internships, and marriage abroad, and inform authorities whenever they come across such people.

The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Justice, Théophile Mbonera, recently told IGIHE that the issue of human trafficking requires strict measures even though it is not alarming.

“The issue of human trafficking has existed for long but is currently manifested with new tricks that it is difficult to be detected. Testimonies from victims narrating their ordeal convince us that the problem exists and requires us to take action,” he said.

Human trafficking is an issue of serious concern.