Trafficking law to end violence towards women and girls in Malawi
Prior to March 2015, Malawi did not have a human trafficking law in place and was rated a tier 2 country in the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA). Trafficking in Persons (TIP) cases were addressed using other laws like the Penal Code, Immigration Act, Child Care and Justice Act and the Constitution of Malawi. In 2015, NCA collaborated with partners and the Ministry of Homeland Security to pass a TIP law in Parliament in March of that year. This was followed by the development of a National Plan of Action Against TIP (2017-2020).
Prior to the passage of the anti-TIP law in 2015, there was a lack of national response and effective action to combat TIP in Malawi. In 2007, NCA commissioned an evaluation to understand the magnitude and nature of trafficking of women and children for sexual exploitation. This evaluation established that at least 2,000–5,000 children under 17 and 5,000–8,000 women were trafficked internally and across borders each year. In response, NCA and partners began the long process of lobbying the Malawi government to pass an anti-TIP law.
Since the Trafficking in Persons Act was enacted in 2015, NCA has made significant contributions to the further development of the National Plan of Action (NPA) by supporting partners and the Ministry of Homeland Security to learn from other countries through exchange visits and financial support. The NPA has five priority areas including: 1) prevention of TIP; 2) support and protection of victims; 3) detection, investigation and prosecution; 4) partnership coordination, sustainable financing and research; and 5) M&E and reporting. Since the plan was developed, there has been progress towards the prosecution of human trafficking cases in Malawi. Additionally, NCA and partners have conducted sensitisation with community members and religious leaders, in addition to building the capacity of law enforcement agencies like the police, judges and magistrates, partner staff and community volunteers. Through this work, there has been an increase in reporting of TIP cases at the community level.