The Inspector General of Police (IGP),  Chair of National Aliens Committee/National Coordination Mechanism on Migration, Ministry of Interior Hon. General Majak Akec Malok and IOM South Sudan’s Chief of Mission, Jean-Philippe Chauzy during the report release

By Tande Elias Agobe

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) in partnership with the Government of South Sudan on Wednesday 29th July 2020 launched the Trafficking in Persons in South Sudan: Prevalence, Challenges and Responses – An Action Research report according to the press release on Wednesday.

The report is the first dedicated study into Trafficking in Persons (TIP) in South Sudan conducted by IOM and Technical Task Force to Counter Trafficking in Persons and Smuggling of Migrants, aimed to determine the prevalence of trafficking in the country, the pull and push factors of TIP and to provide evidence-based recommendations to strengthen South Sudan’s national TIP response and bring about necessary reforms.

According to the press release the report says with limited government response to trafficking due to restricted capacity, governance challenges and ill-equipped institutions, human traffickers took advantage of the circumstances and saw an opportunity to target and exploit vulnerable groups.

Today, the most prevalent forms of trafficking in South Sudan are forced recruitment in armed forces and armed groups, forced marriage, domestic servitude and sexual exploitation particularly among women and children, as well as labor exploitation. Trafficking happens within and across the borders. It affects South Sudanese and vulnerable migrants.  

The report also says South Sudan is a destination country to trafficked migrants who fall prey to traffickers. The report accentuates international migrant’s vulnerability to exploitation by employers or extortion by public authorities.

South Sudan has taken strides to end of human trafficking within its borders. In 2019, a Technical Task Force on Anti-Trafficking in Persons and Smuggling of Migrants was set up through the Ministry of Interior, centered around the need to take strong action to prevent and deter TIP by setting up whole-of-government response, raise awareness and train front line actors on victim identification and participate in regional policy dialogues and evidence collection on TIP data.  

“Combatting human trafficking is a priority for South Sudan and we are committed to work with our partners, including IOM, to prevent crimes associated to Trafficking in Persons, prosecute offenders and protect victims,” the Inspector General of Police (IGP),  Chair of National Aliens Committee/National Coordination Mechanism on Migration, Ministry of Interior Hon. General Majak Akec Malok said.

 “Countering Human Trafficking is South Sudan’s Key Area of priority under Comprehensive Migration Policy of South Sudan. This requires concerted efforts by all stakeholders including our international partners” He further added.

The UN Sustainable Development Goals 5, 8 and 16 recognize the need to bring an end to human trafficking as a concerted global priority and one if not achieved, will stifle development across the globe.  

“Today’s launch of the TIP report marks an important milestone in efforts to combat human trafficking in South Sudan,” said IOM South Sudan’s Chief of Mission, Jean-Philippe Chauzy. “The government’s pledge to combat this scourge, which IOM is fully committed to support, extends beyond South Sudan.” Jean-Philippe added.

“Human trafficking transcends borders and therefore, shared global commitments and efforts should be the cornerstone towards successfully tackling these heinous activities. The implementation of evidence-based recommendations outlined in the report we are launching today will certainly have a ripple effect, regionally and globally towards ending TIP.” added Chauzy.