Minister of Social Welfare Patricia Kaliati on Tuesday took to various lodges in Lilongwe to redeem girls from commercial sex work.
Speaking during the exercise, Kaliati said there was a need for collective action in redeeming and rehabilitating such girls, that they can become productive and reliable citizens.
It all started with a 15-year-old girl from Rumphi District. She was rescued from commercial sex work at some drinking joint at Biwi within the capital Lilongwe.
She is now being kept at some safe home within the city for appropriate action. The rehabilitation home is part of an initiative by the Israeli Ambassador to Malawi, to help curb human trafficking.
The girl said she was deceived by an agent to come to Lilongwe from Mzuzu to see a relation and was eventually forced into commercial sex work.
She claimed the proceeds of her work were surrendered to her purported master. The alleged master is still at large.
In an interview, she claimed that Biwi is host to many minors, who are into commercial sex work.
Moved by her narrative, in the company of police officers, Kaliati proceeded to storm a number of lodges at Biwi and flushed out several minors to safety.
She has since warned that Government will revoke business licences for lodges that are housing such minors for commercial sex work.
"We can't allow this to continue, Government and partners are investing in promoting rights of girls including their right to education and a decent life. We will close any lodge housing minors for sex work," fumed Kaliati.
According to Israeli Ambassador to Malawi, Nir Gess, the ordeal of the girl is a testimony of a deeply rooted problem, not only here in Malawi but also in other countries that needs urgent attention.
"We appreciate efforts by various governments and non-state actors in dealing with trafficking in persons, however, I feel a lot needs to be done, " said Nir Gess.
He went to say much as redeeming victims from commercial sex work and other forms of labour is important, there is a need to crack down on the syndicates themselves.
Various reports indicate that there is a need for added attention, for Malawi to register tangible gains in the fight against trafficking in persons.