The realities of human trafficking

21st Century slavery, otherwise known as human trafficking PHOTO: Tamlyn Jolly

IN keeping with the 16 Days of Activism campaign, Freedom Generation on Friday held a human trafficking workshop to highlight the realities of this modern day slave trading.

The main forms today are sex trafficking, which includes pornography and prostitution, forced labour and organ trafficking.

For human trafficking to take place and an incident to be prosecuted accordingly, recruitment, transportation and exploitation must be fulfilled.

Contrary to popular belief, transportation does not mean people need to be taken cross-border, because unsuspecting victims can be lured into a trap even by friends and neighbours.

Human trafficking is real and something everyone must be educated about.

Human trafficking has no colour, no language and no social status; anyone can fall victim.

The Prevention and Combating of Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Act was passed in 2013 and, when people are charged under this Act, even the smallest offender gets prosecuted.

While it is predominantly NGOs that deal with human trafficking situations, there is an internationally-linked resource line which is dedicated to human trafficking.

Any suspected human trafficking can be reported anonymously to 0800 222777 and will be thoroughly investigated.

16th Century slavery, no different from today’s human trafficking
PHOTO: Tamlyn Jolly

ALSO READ: SA National Human Trafficking Resource Line launched

No difference

Soraya Smith from UNISA said there is no difference between modern-day human trafficking and the 16th Century slave trade. Human trafficking syndicates are calculated and well-oiled, and victims are continuously moved around the country.

Makhosazana Nxumalo from the Commission for Gender Equality spoke about prostitution, as well as harmful and traditional practices.

‘Some practices which have good intentions are carried out incorrectly and in such a way that they perpetuate the cycle of gender inequality,’ she said.

Using virginity inspection as an example, Nxumalo said this invasive practice has psychological effects on the girl, and knock-on social effects too.

‘For instance, if she is found to no longer be pure, she becomes a laughing stock which may lead to her dropping out of school.

‘This affects her entire life.’

Hosted by Outlook Church, the event was sponsored by UNISA with the aim of promoting its Human Trafficking Awareness Programme.


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Tamlyn Jolly

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