The Burundian National Independent Human Rights Commission (CNIDH) Thursday held a meeting with all stakeholders in order to find ways of curbing human trafficking nowadays reported in Burundi.
The meeting brought together administration authorities at the provincial level, police commissioners, justice officials, representatives of the civil society organizations and religious groups in Burundi.
“The idea is to discuss with all stakeholders that can help in eradicating the issue of human trafficking nowadays reported in Burundi. We are discussing the extent of the issue and we are analyzing the legal framework including the existing international conventions that Burundi has ratified as well as the national legislation,” said Burundian National Independent Human Rights Commission (CNIDH) Chairman Jean Baptiste Baribonekeza.
Baribonekeza indicated that stakeholders are to contribute ideas on “ways and means to combat human trafficking that has persisted” despite the existing legal framework.
He said, “We want to prevent and put an end to the issue of human trafficking that we saw over the past few weeks where some Burundian women were victims of trafficking and sent to other countries.”
Last weekend, 14 Burundian women, victims of human trafficking, were intercepted at Goma International Airport (in DR Congo) and later handed over to the Burundian immigration police at Kavimvira on the border between Burundi and DR Congo.
Burundian Police Spokesman Pierre Nkurikiye said that those women victims were in two groups – the first group of five women with a destination to Oman and the second one made up of nine women with a destination to Saudi Arabia.
Nkurikiye indicated that one of the things that raised the police suspicion is that a 19-year-old woman had declared that she was 23 years old.
The other suspicious element is that all the women lived in Bujumbura except only one who lived in Rumonge town, in the south of Burundi.
By mid June, the Burundian police arrested seven persons over human trafficking accusations and identified 11 companies involved in human trafficking in the east African nation.
The arrested persons included three Burundians and four Kenyans.
Four of the 11 companies or organizations involved in human trafficking are based in Burundi, other four companies are based in Saudi Arabia and two others are based in Oman while the 11th one is based in Kenya.
Nkurikiye indicated that the four Burundian companies had been collaborating with the remaining seven foreign companies in the human trafficking business.
He indicated that since mid April this year, 267 persons, most of them girls, were victims of human trafficking.
The Burundian police suspect that those girls do sex work when they arrive at their destinations.