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North Korean 'forced labour' in Zimbabwe, claims US

by Staff reporter
12 Jul 2020 at 11:04hrs | Views
THE United States says some North Koreans may have been forced to work in Zimbabwe by their government amid concerns of human trafficking in the country.

According to the 2020 Trafficking in Persons report released by the US State Department, other foreign nationals that were allegedly being trafficked to work in Zimbabwe were Chinese.

"Women, men, children, and migrants may have been victims of forced labour or sex trafficking, and North Koreans working in Zimbabwe may have been forced to work by the North Korean government," reads part of the report.

The report, however, does not state the estimated number of North Koreans that could be in Zimbabwe against their will or their locations.

It recommends that Zimbabwe should "train officials to proactively identify trafficking victims among vulnerable populations such as migrant workers and foreign nationals including North Koreans, and refer them to appropriate services".

Labour minister Paul Mavima said he was in a meeting and would only respond to questions later.

Kindness Paradza, the chairperson of the parliamentary portfolio committee on foreign affairs, queried the findings saying there were no representatives of North Korea in Zimbabwe.

"I don't think that is correct," Paradza said.

"There are no North Koreans working in Zimbabwe. Where are they?

"We don't even have a North Korean embassy in Zimbabwe and all they had was just a trade office and the North Koreans who were here were on business, but not anymore."

Last year, the government reportedly expelled an unknown number of North Koreans of "questionable character" who were in a partnership with a local tobacco merchant.

Zimbabwe has had a tainted relationship with North Korea after Pyongyang provided instructors that trained the army's 5th Brigade that was blamed for the Gukurahundi massacres in Matabeleland and midlands in the 1980s.

Source - the standard

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