Government through the Ministry of Labour and Social Security has warned the general public of the incidences received concerning reported cases of forced labour.
Speaking in an interview, Assistant Labour Commissioner (Employment), Mukamasole Kasanda said the ministry has received a case involving twenty five (25) young ladies who were about to leave the country to other countries for job opportunities that have been offered by an unknown foreign employer.
Ms. Kasanda explained that 25 young ladies were intercepted at the Lusaka Kenneth Kaunda International Airport and were brought back to the Ministry of Labour to institute an investigation to ascertain whether the provisions of the law was fulfilled regarding them leaving Zambia to work in another country.
She also revealed that on 4th October 2021, another group of five (5) people were intercepted at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs trying to acquire documents to leave the country later brought to the Ministry of Labour to establish the people who offered them employment.
She disclosed that efforts to engage the foreign employer were made, however, the employer was seemingly elusive and could not give an indication as to whether he was the one who recruited the young ladies and facilitated for them to travel to that country.
The Assistant Labour Commissioner has since advised the general public especially those wishing to travel outside the country for greener pastures to ensure that they follow the laid procedures.
She guided that in accordance with the Employment Code No. 3. 2019 from Section 30 to 31 provides clear guidance on what should be done.
Mrs. Kasanda added that the Ministry of Labour and Social Security will not stop anyone from fulfilling their dream to work outside the country provided the requirements are met to the latter to avoid people falling victim in forced labour.
Meanwhile, Ms. Kasanda further indicated that the ministry is currently collaborating with other line ministries in trying to resolve a similar case involving a named young lady who is seemingly stranded and trapped in forced labour in a named country.
She explained that currently, she has been contacting the Ministry through the Ministerial Facebook page and will use that information to launch an investigation together with other Government Agencies other ministries like the Immigration Department under Ministry of Home Affairs and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to ensure that the matter is followed up.
The Ministry has appealed to the general public to feel free to come to the Ministry of Labour and make consultations if someone finds a job outside the country so that guidance can be provided appropriately.