Child smuggling on the rise at South Africa-Zimbabwe border
A quarterly meeting of the Zimbabwe-South Africa Cross-Border Coordination Committee for Unaccompanied and Separated Migrant Children said that 150 children have been intercepted while being smuggled into either South Africa or Zimbabwe, while 79 local minors are being held at care centres in Limpopo province. Last year, 120 children were intercepted in December alone.
Speaking during the meeting held in Beitbridge on Tuesday, the committee’s co-chairperson, Mr Craig Nkomo, said:
It is sad that we continue to have parents or guardians who expose their children to illegal migration. Most of the intercepted children are from Bulawayo and Chiredzi and their destination in South Africa is mainly Johannesburg in Gauteng Province. In general, the largest number was intercepted in the month of January, while the movement was significantly lower in April.Feedback
Nkomo said that authorities have impounded vehicles that have been used to smuggle children as well as prosecuting the smuggles. Nkomo said their target was to reduce the number of children being smuggled between the two countries to less than 30 per year.
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