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Courts drilled in handling human trafficking cases

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The Women Judges Association of Malawi (Wojam) has said orienting the courts on the newly passed Trafficking in Persons Act is important in the enforcement of the law.

Wojam’s National Training Coordinator, Judge Fiona Mwale, said the act requires them to incorporate concerns of the victims when dealing with such cases.

She said previously the country’s justice system focused only on punishing the offender despite other laws allowing them to recognise the needs of the victims.

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“We recognise under the law that they may need compensation, they may have had their property taken away, they may need counselling and medical treatment. All these are issues that require funding,” she said

She said the training will help the courts whenever they are making orders and sentences in relation to a Trafficking in Persons convictions.

“For instance, in 2002, there was a case of a woman who trafficked three girls to Amsterdam, and she was selling $10,000 each and the buyer also sold them at $20,000.They make a lot of money. So we want them [courts] to be following their assets and the money realised should be put into the fund,” she explained.

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Cases of human tracking have recently been rampant in the country with most of the victims being children.

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