Art: Struggling Against Trafficking in Persons: A luta Continua

By Mike Mungai

Follow Bwana Mdogo Arts and other artists against human trafficking by liking their facebook page. Artists sharing this passion too are welcome to join in.

Innovative strategies will emerge as a function of networking, experience sharing and learning together. Simple tools on the other hand are more effective.

One thing that every individual and organization acting to combat human trafficking will agree with me on is the high dynamism of human trafficking. As a result of this dynamism, many are the times that we actors against Trafficking in Persons, TIP, feel like giving in especially when it comes to research, prevention and rescue. On one particular day, an actor against TIP will realize how a particular tactic of TIP exists and will move in to combat it, but come again tomorrow the tactic will have changed. The more we work, the more experienced we become in matters relating to countering  TIP but our experience and the experience of traffickers and exploiters is directly proportional to each other. Hence our task becomes harder.

The quick ability of traffickers, exploiters and all benefiting from TIP to re-strategize and come up with new trafficking tactics in short periods of time gives actors against TIP a terrible headache. So far, it has proven impossible to clearly define the tactics used by traffickers. Intergovernmental bodies, governmental initiatives, NGOs and individuals come up with strategies to combat TIP, but most of these strategies become functionally obsolete just after a short period of implementation. Awareness creation will be carried down, but still recruiters will find a way to manipulate the vulnerable persons; the police and border officials will be capacity build on how to identify and handle cases of TIP but still transfer of victims of trafficking will occur. It seems that every time actors against TIP make a step, traffickers make a stride.

What are we, as actors against trafficking supposed to do? Give up? Implement obsolete strategies? No. Not at all. Being on the side with inadequate resources, poor or no networks at all and being limited by geographical regions of intervention is heartbreaking yes. But, we should persist and remember that a battle is not necessarily won by the size of one’s army neither is it won by the number of sophisticated weapons that one has, but rather by a will to win.

We have to keep on keeping on, we have to create awareness even if it is to one individual, we have to continue rescuing and ensuring the successful re-integration of survivors of trafficking, we have to prosecute even if it is one trafficker. These done in many localities and over a period of time; will go a long way in ensuring that the masses know what is trafficking, no one is held in slavery and that traffickers are held accountable for their actions.

Ngugi wa Thiongo has written many books whose theme is on freedom and liberation of the vulnerable masses from oppressive tendencies of the powerful.

It is a huge challenge considering the numbers of people being held in slavery at the present time. We should nonetheless face the challenge by its horns. Ngugi wa Thiongo in “the river between,” says that; “There is not a night so long that it does not end with the break of dawn.”

The struggle continues.


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