Botswana Tightens Travel Requirements For Minors

Botswana Tightens Travel Requirements For Minors

In a move that has shocked the Southern African tourism industry, Botswana has introduced strict new requirements for children travelling to and from the country, Tourism Update reported.

The Botswana requirements are similar to the ones South Africa introduced on June 1, 2015 that many in the tourism industry said damaged South Africa’s tourism industry.

“I’m just gobsmacked that a country like Botswana, which has a massive tourism industry, would actually look at all the pain we’ve gone through and the lack of due process and replicate that in Botswana,” said David Frost, CEO of the Southern African Tourism Services Association.

From The Citizen. Story by Africa News Agency.

The Botswana government has tightened travel regulations with a new requirement for certified copies of unabridged birth certificates for all minors under the age of 18 traveling through its ports of entry.

Minors will now be required to produce the birth certificates in addition to the standard requirement of a valid passport at all ports of entry and exit, the Ministry of Nationality, Immigration and Gender Affairs said Thursday in a statement issued in Gaborone

The new rules came into effect Oct. 1.

“In the event that one parent is not travelling with the child, the other parent’s affidavit consenting to such travel should be availed. However, an affidavit will not be required if the father’s name does not appear on the child’s birth certificate,” explained the ministry.

The goal is to manage the movement of children across the country’s borders to tackle human trafficking, a global challenge, the ministry said.

“Botswana, like other countries is affected by this (human trafficking) problem, and as such, has enacted (legislation to implement) the United Nations Anti Human Trafficking Protocol, which calls upon governments to come up with deliberate measures aimed at combating human trafficking,” the statement said.

Prior to the revised travel requirements, all minors aged 18 and under were required to produce original copies of their birth certificates to be allowed to visit or transit through Botswana.

Read more at The Citizen.