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Sudanese parliament discuss draft bill on death penalty for human traffickers

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December 15, 2013 (KHARTOUM) - The Sudanese parliament has discussed on Wednesday the draft law on combating human trafficking and called for carrying out deterrent penalties including capital punishment and life imprisonment against those involved in those crimes.

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The audience listens to Sudanese president Omer Hassan al-Bashir speaking during the opening of a new session of parliament on 28 October 2013 in Khartoum (Photo: AFP/Getty Images)

The new bill demanded the state to secure 16 rights for the victim even if the crime was committed with his consent.

The parliament urged the ministry of Human Resources Development and Labor and the National Group for Human Rights (NGHR) to apply those penalties.

The NGHR member, Hussein Kershom, disclosed in press statements following the meeting of the joint committees in the parliament that Sudan became a passageway for human trafficking coming from Libya and Egypt.

He said the Sudanese legislation doesn’t criminalize human trafficking, pointing that there are international conventions which stipulate tough penalties for the crime.

The state minister at the ministry of Human Resources Development and Labor, Al-Sadig Mohamed Ali, announced his ministry’s commitment to provide job opportunities and develop capacities to prevent human trafficking.

He said that the new bill includes punishments ranging from 3 to 10 years and 3 to 20 years according to the nature of the crime, adding that death penalty would be applied only if the victim dies.

The US state department’s 2012 report on human trafficking identifies Sudan as a "source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking".

"The Government of Sudan does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and is not making significant efforts to do so. While the government took some initial steps during the reporting period to acknowledge the existence of trafficking, draft anti-trafficking legislation, prosecute suspected traffickers, demobilize and reintegrate child soldiers, and waive overstay fines for foreign domestic workers, its efforts to combat human trafficking through law enforcement, protection, or prevention measures were undertaken in an ad hoc fashion, rather than as the result of strategic planning", the report said.

Eastern Sudan in particular is believed to be serving as a passage to migrants from Eritrea, Ethiopia and Somalia who seek to reach Europe with the help of human smugglers.

(ST)

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