The government maintained overall protection efforts. The government identified seven trafficking victims, compared with 19 victims in 2020. This included one Namibian child exploited in sex trafficking, two female adults from Namibia and Zambia exploited in labor trafficking, one adult male from South Africa whose exploitation was unspecified, and three additional unspecified trafficking victims. The government reported referring victims to government or NGO-operated temporary shelters, providing assistance to all seven identified victims, and continued to provide care and assist 18 victims identified in the previous reporting period. The government continued implementing SOPs for victim identification and the NRM for referral and provision of services. Police and immigration officials used anti- trafficking pocket manuals outlining the SOPs and NRM. The government did not report providing training to social welfare professionals during the reporting period due to pandemic-related restrictions. Observers reported some government and civil society front-line responders still did not fully understand their roles within the procedures. In practice, labor inspectors and immigration officials contacted the Namibian Police Force (NamPol) when they identified a potential trafficking victim; however, no referrals were reported.
The government and NGOs jointly provided shelter, psycho-social services, medical care, and provision of other basic needs to victims of trafficking, gender-based violence (GBV), and child abuse. The government opened eight shelters available to trafficking victims during the reporting period. Three NGO shelters cared for men, women, and children, although observers noted it was sometimes difficult to find shelter for male victims. Child victims were placed in government residential childcare facilities and provided access to education. Foreign victims had access to the same shelter and services as domestic victims. Shelter staff did not permit victims, including adults, to leave unchaperoned. The government allocated 6 million Namibian dollars ($377,790) to three NGO shelters supporting trafficking victims in 2021, the same as the previous reporting period. Seventeen GBV Protection Units nationwide offered initial psycho-social, legal, and medical support to victims of crime, in coordination with the police, the Ministry of Gender Equality, Poverty Eradication, and Child Welfare (MGEPECW), the Ministry of Health and Social Services, and NGOs. Adult victims were able to seek employment and work while receiving assistance, although it is unknown how many victims did so during the reporting period.
All 25 victims identified or assisted during the reporting period voluntarily assisted law enforcement with investigations and prosecutions. Authorities did not condition access to victim services on cooperation with law enforcement; the government provided legal aid, transportation, and witness protection to all victims. The government assigned victim advocates to victims testifying and allowed victims to testify in rooms separate from the courtroom when such rooms were available. Foreign victims could obtain temporary residence visas during legal proceedings. The law allowed victims to obtain restitution and file civil suits against their traffickers; however, no victims to date had received restitution or compensation. Authorities screened vulnerable populations, including irregular migrants, refugees, and individuals in commercial sex, for trafficking indicators.