Catholic Commission in Mozambique to Shift Attention to Migrants in Planned Workshops

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After the 2014 launch of a national campaign to raise awareness about the scourge of human trafficking in Mozambique, the Episcopal Commission for Migrants, Refugees and Displaced Persons (CEMIRDE) of the Episcopal Conference of Mozambique (CEM) will hold workshops on human trafficking during the month of October in South Africa, an official has said.

In a Tuesday, September 20 interview with ACI Africa, CEMIRDE Project Coordinator, Juvêncio Matsinhe, said that initially the month-long workshops were mainly for Mozambican mine workers in South Africa.

However, after the August CEMIRDE pastoral visit to South Africa, representatives of CEM and the Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference (SACBC) decided that the workshops should “also be presented to other migrant communities working in the mining industry and in other sectors.” 

Mr. Matsinhe said that the objective of the planned workshops is “to raise awareness about human trafficking for people on the move”, with a specific focus on migrant communities living in South Africa.

He said that after meeting with Bishop Robert Mogapi Mphiwe of Rustenburg Diocese, which covers one of the largest mining areas in South Africa, “Bishop Robert suggested that we also include migrants from other nationalities.”


“So, we are not only going to cover the Mozambican migrants, but there is also going to be a lot of space for migrants of other nationalities that are interested in these themes to be involved,” said Mr. Matsinhe.

He added, “Although we are sure that the laws are different, but the content is important; the essence of the content is going to reach the people that are going to be able to take some action when faced with situations similar to trafficking and the issue of safe migration.” 

“In 2016 we began to promote research on the theme of human trafficking and three studies were conducted in three regions: South, North and in Ventral Mozambique. It is from this research that we received recommendations and we continue to bring awareness in the Dioceses. Our focus is usually schools and districts that are close to borders,” the CEMIRDE Project Coordinator explained.

He continued, “We realized that trafficking is extremely linked to the issue of human mobility. We cannot talk about trafficking detached from the issue of human mobility. These people are often on the move, who are great victims or potential victims of human trafficking.”

“Those who do not have documentation are most vulnerable to traffickers, because it is easy to lure these people as they are desperate. Therefore, it is necessary to raise awareness in both Mozambique and in South Africa,” he added.

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The planned October workshops on human trafficking, Mr. Matsinhe said, will not only address the issue of trafficking, but also other issues that are in line with migration. 

“For example, we want to promote the issue of safe migration as well as what are the necessary regulations to ensure one’s safe migration,” he said, and added, “We will also provide some explanations concerning the types of visas that miners and their families could use.”

The CEMIRDE Projects Coordinator told ACI Africa that the workshops will cover three Episcopal Sees in South Africa: the Archdiocese of Johannesburg, Bloemfontein Archdiocese, and the Diocese of Rustenburg.

“The workshops will take place in the Archdiocese of Johannesburg and the Diocese of Rustenburg. However, there is also a large community of miners in the Free State who have requested to be involved in the seminars,” Mr. Matsinhe said during the September 20 interview.

Sheila Pires is a veteran radio and television Mozambican journalist based in South Africa. She studied communications at the University of South Africa. She is passionate about writing on the works of the Church through Catholic journalism.