While there has been several reports of human trafficking on social media platforms, the Ministry of Defense, Justice and Security reports that Botswana has maintained Tier 2 status in in the recent Trafficking in Persons Report.
“The Public is informed that the Government of the United States of America has released their global 2021 Trafficking in Persons Report and rankings. As in the previous year, Botswana has maintained ranking of Tier 2. Tier 2 denotes Governments of countries that do not fully meet the U.S. Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 (TVPA) anti-human trafficking minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking, but are making significant efforts to do so. Tier 1 is the highest ranking, followed by Tier 2, Tier 2 (Watch list) and lastly Tier 3.” the Ministry announced.
There has been reports on social media platforms of human trafficking. The stories and voice notes circulating on social media platforms reported that the perpetrators disguise as good Samaritans giving unsuspecting desperate passengers lifts to their destinations. To their surprise, the victims will see the car steering a strange direction.
According to Bonolo Tabalaka from the Ministry of Defense, Justice and Security, Botswana has been commended for a number of interventions to include among others; an overall increase in anti-human trafficking efforts as compared to the previous year especially in the midst of the adverse effects of the COVID-19 pandemic; continued implementation of the Anti-Human Trafficking National Action Plan (2018-2022); and the provision of additional services to victims who participated in trials against their traffickers.
However, the report suggested some recommendations to further improve Botswana’s anti-human trafficking agenda. Some recommendations relate to; Legislative gaps within Botswana’s Anti-Human Trafficking Act of 2014; Increasing the capacity of stakeholders to assist victims of human trafficking; Enhancing Government efforts to raise awareness of the crime and also; Ensure the successful prosecution of offenders.
The Trafficking in Persons Report, or the TIP Report, is an annual report issued by the U.S. State Department’s Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons. It ranks governments based on their perceived efforts to acknowledge and combat human trafficking.
The report divides nations into tiers based on their compliance with standards outlined in the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA) of 2000. These tiers are:
- Tier 1 countries whose governments fully comply with the TVPA’s minimum standards.
- Tier 2 countries whose governments do not fully comply with all of TVPA’s minimum standards, but are making significant efforts to bring themselves into compliance with those standards.
- Tier 2 (watchlist) countries whose governments do not fully comply with the TVPA’s minimum standards, but are making significant efforts to bring themselves into compliance with those standards and: the absolute number of victims of severe forms of trafficking is very significant or is significantly increasing; or there is a failure to provide evidence of increasing efforts to combat severe forms of trafficking in persons from the previous year; or the determination that a country is making significant efforts to bring themselves into compliance with minimum standards was based on commitments by the country to take additional future steps over the next year.
- Tier 3 countries whose governments do not fully comply with the minimum standards and are not making significant efforts to do so.