File photo: The new rules came into effect from October 1, 2016.

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

In a statement issued in Gaborone, the Ministry of Nationality, Immigration and Gender Affairs said minors would 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 new rules came into effect from October 1, 2016. “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.

Further, the ministry said the development was aimed at managing the movement of children across the country's borders with the objective of tackling human trafficking, which it said was a global challenge.

“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 below were required to produce original copies of their birth certificates to be allowed to visit, or transit through Botswana.

Africa News Agency (ANA)