Human trafficking is a crime against humanity that involves the unlawful recruitment and transport of persons within a country or from one country to another for the purposes of exploitation. It is the equivalent of modern day slavery. Its victims are often the most vulnerable members of society, such as children, who are forced into labour or are sexually exploited as a result of being trafficked.
Zambia is both a country of origin and a destination for victims of trafficking, as well as a prime transit point due to its geographic location. One of the major problems with combating human trafficking is that many of the issues surrounding it are not well understood by members of the general public.
Since 2006, CHAMP, in partnership with the International Organization for Migration (IOM), has been providing information, counseling, and referral services relating to human trafficking through the 990 Talkline. In addition to taking calls from victims in distress and concerned citizens, Talkline counselors also field missing person reports, counsel Zambian former victims of trafficking, and provide information to callers wishing to find work abroad.
Since 2006, CHAMP and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in Zambia have worked together to combat human trafficking. Through the United Nations Joint Program on Human Trafficking, which is funded by the European Union, IOM has lent its support to the 990 Talkline's toll free 24-hour counter-trafficking hotline service. Through the Talkline, callers can get information about human trafficking, talk to trained counselors about the sensitive issues related to trafficking, and obtain referrals to appropriate services near them. IOM has also provided technical support to the Talkline by developing data capturing software and by providing training to the 990 counselors in how to handle calls related to human trafficking.
In addition, during 2012, IOM and the Joint Program are giving CHAMP additional support to develop a media campaign to promote the Talkline's counter trafficking service and to educate the public about human trafficking as an issue. This is being done by engaging and sensitizing journalists directly and through interactive radio programs and PSAs, as well as through relevant movie screenings and discussions.