The Impact of the Delayed Enactment of the Combating of Trafficking in Persons Act on Eomen: A case study from Namibia

Final project
Year of publication:
Trafficking in Persons (TIP), Prevention of Organised Crime Act 29 of 2004 (POCA), Victims of Trafficking (VoT), Namibia


Trafficking in person (TIP) is referred to as a crime that violates the human rights of its victims. It not only affects the victims physically but psychologically as well, especially when ineffective and insufficient mechanisms are in place. The delay in the enactment of the Combating in Trafficking in Persons Act 1 of 2018 left the legal system in Namibia to rely on the Prevention of Organised Crime (POCA) Act 29 of 2004 to prosecute and convict TIP cases. Some of the convicted TIP cases show that the POCA has several shortcomings while it only has 2 sections addressing TIP. The definition of TIP in the POCA excludes the definition of relevant terms that appeared in some cases. Thus, the prosecution relied on previously convicted cases from other countries. The POCA does not clearly illustrate the roles and responsibilities of the institutions involved, leading to duplication of roles. Additionally, there is no mandate for victim assistance either by the state or the perpetrator. Consequently, victims of trafficking (VoTs) are denied some services that impact their psychological well-being pre-trial, during and/or post-trail. The analytical approach used in this case study indicates that the new TIP law provides remedies for the shortcomings of the POCA. The analysis similarly concludes that, if this law had been enacted at the time when most of the TIP cases were convicted, the outcomes would have been different.