Human and Drug Trafficking in Africa: Unlocking Human

The Tana Forum Secretariat in partnership with Humanity United organized a regional multi-stakeholders Pre-Tana Forum on the theme “Human and drug trafficking: Unlocking Human Freedom” on August 19, 2021 at Sheraton hotel, Ethiopia, utilizing a hybrid format – face-to-face interaction and virtual platform. The forum brought together representatives from AU Member States, AUC, RECs/RMs, experts, youth organizations, women’s networks, funding partners, development partners, representatives of foreign governments, research organizations, think tanks, and academics to bring forth open and frank discussions on the threats drug and human trafficking poses to peace and security in Africa. This is the outcomes Report of the Forum.

Drug and human trafficking is not only a global issue affecting everyone from all corners of the world but also an extensive and prevalent threat to peace and security in Africa. The challenges of drug trafficking has risen above all five regions of the continent where some are experiencing a rapid and disastrous decline. Besides engaging in illegal cultivation, manufacture, distribution and sale of prohibited substance, drug trafficking fosters other forms of crime, such as money laundering, corruption etc. It is also employed to raise income necessary to acquire weapons either by corrupting government officials responsible for the enforcement of law, the military or by misusing funds allocated to conflict resolution. This among others further set hurdles and lengthen the duration of armed conflicts making them more fatal. It is also an ideal source of money for terrorist groups, sustaining crime, criminal acts and deteriorating the rule of law. The continent is not only a major transit route in the international trade of controlled drugs but also major consumer and distributer. Coupled with the youth bulge and growing level of unemployment, this scenario pauses further threats to security in Africa.

On the other hand, regardless of the various initiatives taken by the African Union including Ouagadougou Action Plan, the Migration Policy Framework for Africa, in 2006, and the African Union Commission Initiative against Trafficking (AU.COMMIT) in 2009, human trafficking remains a growing threat in Africa. Millions of men, woman and children are trafficked to the Western Europe and the Middle East from Africa. Women and children are also victims of intra-regional trafficking for purposes of agricultural and domestic work, prostitution including inscription in the military especially in the sub-Saharan region. Researches indicate that close to 3.7 million people in Africa live in modern slavery at any given time generating close to 13.Billion USD. The stringent fact about human trafficking is the fact that the close family members, relatives, friends and communities are the ones at the centre, more than half of it being female actors. Organized criminal groups are also recognized to take part in the human trafficking for various forms of exploitation making it more complex and threatening. This situation is further worsened by the impacts of the Covid-19 and other health pandemics leaving devastating impact on the trafficked ones.

It is against this background that the Tana Forum Secretariat in partnership with Humanity United, organized this multi-stakeholder Pre-Tana Forum, along the margins of the 10th edition of the Tana High-Level Forum on Security in Africa which will take place on 25-29 October 2021, under the theme, “Managing Security Threats: Building Resilience for the Africa We Want”….. Read the full document – here | in case you missed it watch the event – Session I , & Session II .