Start making sense of your financial wellness.

Watch the Sitholes every Thursday at 17h30 on e.tv

Shocking reality of SA human trafficking

Comment on this story


jan 31 prostitute

REUTERS

South Africa is a hotbed for the billion dollar human trafficking industry.

Even worse, experts say parents often play a role in the modern-day slavery of their own babies and children.

People are sold for muti and organ “donation”, babies and children are used for sexual exploitation, cheap labour and even forced marriage.

In Durban, police have found girls as young as 12 years old selling their young bodies on the streets.

The Centre for International Policy’s Global Financial Integrity programme estimated last year that global human trafficking accounted for R230 million of illicit trade, only one third behind drugs and counterfeit goods.

In 2000, social workers and officers of the Child Protection Unit estimated there were 28 000 child prostitutes in South Africa.

Joan van Niekerk from Childline says they are still trying to assess exactly how many people have been caught up in the human trade.

“However, it is a significant problem in South and Southern Africa and is fed by our high levels of poverty, orphanhood and parental irresponsibility,” she says.

According to Barbara Ras, founder of the Atlantis Women’s Movement and a shelter for trafficked victims in Atlantis, there has been an increase in numbers.

“In 2009, we had 16 trafficking victims, in 2010, 35, and last year we had 67,” she tells the Daily Voice.

“I think the reason for this spike is that no one is making a noise about it, our courts are too quiet.”

Recently a Joburg teenager told of how she escaped a child trafficking ring.

The 16-year-old girl was kidnapped in Bramley last year by four men.

After being drugged, she was taken to Khayelitsha where she was raped, beaten, threatened and told she would be put to work as a prostitute.

After two months, she managed to escape and was reunited with her family.

The Hawks are currently investigating the case.

Barbara says traffickers especially target women and children from rural areas, and often lure them away under the pretext of jobs in the big city.

“These people are poor, there are no jobs, some parents are alcoholics and don’t take care of their children,” says Barbara.

“These are innocent girls who go away to work because they think they can get a better life and escape the poverty cycle.”

She says trafficking rings are more sophisticated than people think.

“There’s a whole network of people involved – recruiters, taxi drivers, the person waiting in the city, etc. There are even women that help with the trafficking of children and other women,” she explains.

“However, girls are also taken from malls, bus stops and taxi ranks.”

Barbara says traffickers treat the girls well in order to gain their trust.

“The girls are drugged – it’s placed in their food and drinks – so by the time they realise they are in trouble, it is far too late,” she says.

“While they are drugged, they are raped and photos are taken of them, which is used to blackmail them.

“Their clothes and shoes are taken away, so that they don’t escape.

“Some of these girls don’t even have breasts yet.

“They are brought into Cape Town and dropped off in places like Athlone and Goodwood for domestic work where they are treated like slaves.”

Barbara adds: “In other cases, they are taken to clubs and brothels where they are kept drugged, beaten and abused.

“They are kept prisoner and are constantly watched.

“Some girls are even sold from person to person – this problem is bigger than we realise and this came to light through the active work of the City’s Vice Squad.”

Barbara says trafficking is done by both local and foreign perpetrators.

“One of the biggest contributing factors to trafficking is that there is too much free access to our borders,” she says.

“We need more border control and national government must make sure we get our specialised units back – we really need them.”

Meanwhile, organisations have called on Parliament to finalise the Prevention and Combating Trafficking in Persons Bill, also known as the TIP Bill.

Currently offenders are charged with sexual abuse, rape and kidnapping.

According to Molo Songololo, a large number of cases gets dismissed in court due to lack of evidence, poor investigations, poor cooperation from witnesses (victims), and the length of the prosecution process.

“Another danger is when these perpetrators are arrested but not convicted, they come back and search for these girls because they know too much,” adds Barbara.

“The scars never heal for these children, many are so damaged that they go back to the streets and prostitute themselves.

“Traffickers are unscrupulous people and they must be brought to book. And if people know about it, they must speak out.”

*Getting help to abused victims

Joan van Niekerk of Childline urges everyone to be vigilant against traffickers.

“Be alert – keep an eye on children in your community and, in keeping with the spirit of Ubuntu, see every child as your child,” she explains.

Look out for signs of abuse, bruises and a fear of different people.

If you are worried about a situation, contact:

* The South African Police – 10111

* Childline/Lifeline – 08000 55555

* Molo Songololo – 021 448 5421

* Safeline – 08000 35553

* Cape Town Child Welfare – 021 638 3127

* The Trauma Centre – 021 465 7373

* Molo Songololo, Patrick Child Line – 08000 55555

* The Child Trauma Centre – 021 556 9556

* Jelly Beanz Inc – 082-jelly-00 (082 5355 900)

* The Salvation Army – 021 761 8530/1/2/3/4/5

* Rape Crisis – Athlone 021 447 9762 and in Khayelitsha 021 361 9085.

*How these sinister syndicates operate

A victim of human trafficking is defined as someone who is being forced or being lied to and then moved (from their home) in order to be exploited for sexual purposes (rape, porn, prostitution), cheap labour or their body parts, among other purposes.

In some cases, the person can be trafficked without being moved, “ownership” of the person changes from trafficker to trafficker at a fixed location.

Parents act as traffickers of their own children by allowing others to sexually exploit them for financial reasons such as paying off debts.

In rural areas, parents are found to sell daughters as child brides.

The Network Against Child Labour estimates that there are 400 000 children working in South Africa.

According to the Human Rights Committee, child labour is everywhere, from taxi ranks to farms and coal yards.

They are forced to work brutal hours that adults are protected against simply because they have no recourse to the law.

Their average pay is R10 a day.

Sex exploiters pay anything from R10 to R150 to traffickers for access to a child’s body.

Reports say human trafficking is mostly TO South Africa and it is organised by international crime syndicates from Africa, Southeast Asia and Eastern Europe.

*This article was published in the Daily Voice


sign up
 
 

Comment Guidelines



  1. Please read our comment guidelines.
  2. Login and register, if you haven’ t already.
  3. Write your comment in the block below and click (Post As)
  4. Has a comment offended you? Hover your mouse over the comment and wait until a small triangle appears on the right-hand side. Click triangle () and select "Flag as inappropriate". Our moderators will take action if need be.

     

@Benson, wrote

IOL Comments
04:45pm on 31 January 2012
IOL Comments

Too true my friend. Well said.

Report this

IOL Comments

Jansen, wrote

IOL Comments
04:39pm on 31 January 2012
IOL Comments

What a load of sensationalist, thumb-sucking propaganda rubbish. I am a pastor who deals with a few cases of girls who got into prostitution. Many did it out of choice, and yes a few did it because of drug addiction of their own making. These statements are all contrived without any factual and statistical basis. SAPS have only charged about a dozen cases of this in the last few years. Don't believe everything these NGOs release in press releases. They are all blown out of proportion for political reasons and to attract foreign funding for huge issues that don't really exist, but the NGO staff live the good life. Many more people are trafficked to move drugs over borders or to sell illegal arms.

Report this

IOL Comments

Anonymous, wrote

IOL Comments
04:29pm on 31 January 2012
IOL Comments

How can we get rid of this evil, border control, airport control and harbor control get kickback for letting things "slip" trough. I have a daughter and it gives me shakes reading articles like this, i salute the "MY CHILD IS YOUR CHILD"and vice versa mentality, if government can't help, we help ourselves to stand together as one big family, I pray for the protection of all innocent victims, children and adults.Those who are part of all this, your day of reckoning will come...

Report this

IOL Comments

Lindo, wrote

IOL Comments
04:20pm on 31 January 2012
IOL Comments

What do you do when you niece leave home and go to jhb to stay on the street? The only hope for us is GOD

Report this

IOL Comments

KraalDeuche, wrote

IOL Comments
04:04pm on 31 January 2012
IOL Comments

Those people who are involved in sexual and violent exploitation of children must be put to death. There are no excuses to keep them alive. But knowing this government and it's policies, those criminals probably just get a little slap on the wrist, after all they didn't harm the ANC party or steal money from it so they don't care a flying f..k.

Report this

IOL Comments

Anonymous, wrote

IOL Comments
03:49pm on 31 January 2012
IOL Comments

@benson, are u suggesting we bring back apartheid?

Report this

IOL Comments

VIP, wrote

IOL Comments
03:44pm on 31 January 2012
IOL Comments

Is so sad hey!!!ones ppl have an axecess in your country they turn to take advantage,i saw this in arcadia pretoria only nigerians owns these girls,why dont we get ride of those people.policemen share the money with the owners hey.i wonder what will be happening in the next 10yrs,it will be a dissaster.

Report this

IOL Comments

Anonymous, wrote

IOL Comments
03:40pm on 31 January 2012
IOL Comments

Watch the S.A government will find a way to tax the traffickers and make some money out of this.

Report this

IOL Comments

Anonymous, wrote

IOL Comments
03:31pm on 31 January 2012
IOL Comments

This is an absoloute disgrace, this is what poverty causes, I blame the government for allowing this to happen, they should clamp down on the criminals and do something about this. The corrupt government and police force should be ashamed of themselves, less this never happen to any of your children!

Report this

IOL Comments

Fred, wrote

IOL Comments
03:25pm on 31 January 2012
IOL Comments

This comes as no surprise, the counrty is being run by greedy miscreants who are only interested in enriching themselves. This is a legacy of the anc.

Report this

IOL Comments

Anonymous, wrote

IOL Comments
03:24pm on 31 January 2012
IOL Comments

How can we get rid of this evil, border control, airport control and harbor control get kickback for letting things "slip" trough. I have a daughter and it gives me shakes reading articles like this, i salute the "MY CHILD IS YOUR CHILD"and vice versa mentality, if government can't help, we help ourselves to stand together as one big family, I pray for the protection of all innocent victims, children and adults.Those who are part of all this, your day of reckoning will come...

Report this

IOL Comments

Guess Who , wrote

IOL Comments
03:20pm on 31 January 2012
IOL Comments

I don`t think the calculation are accurate why all negative stats are always inflated. Just wondering who is behind this

Report this

IOL Comments

Benson, wrote

IOL Comments
03:06pm on 31 January 2012
IOL Comments

This was almost non-existent under apartheid. These foreigners are a CURSE.

Report this

IOL Comments

Mlu, wrote

IOL Comments
03:04pm on 31 January 2012
IOL Comments

The decline in our moral values in this country is way beyond ones imagination. Even King Goodwill Zwelithini who is supposed to be a moral leader in this country, rocked up at the KZN legislature in 2010 with a 15-year old bride to be. First, what kind of a 55 year old man would even consider marrying a 15 year old girl? Secondly, what kind of parents would allow their 15 year old daughter to get into a matrimonial arrangement at that age? We are fast becoming a morally bankrupt nation.

Report this

IOL Comments

Get Real, wrote

IOL Comments
03:02pm on 31 January 2012
IOL Comments

If the Teddy Bear Foundation gets its way the age of consent will be dropped to 12. Then if SWEAT gets its way, prostitution will be legalized. If both these miscreant institutions get their way then it is conceivable this will all be moot as it will be essentially legal except for the kidnapping.

Report this

IOL Comments

Zinzi, wrote

IOL Comments
02:59pm on 31 January 2012
IOL Comments

Whoa! This brought goose bumps to my flesh! What the hell is happening here - have we become barbarians where your vice is being exploited or you feel there is no other option but to turn to this life. Oh, please official, US especially US - need to do something RIGHT AWAY! If they can occupy Rondbosch Common, what are we (US) doing? Any ideas?

Report this

IOL Comments

Anonymous, wrote

IOL Comments
02:06pm on 31 January 2012
IOL Comments

This is agrevated by the free access to our borders, let's get rid of foreigners in our country, they are a curse.

Report this

IOL Comments

Anonymous, wrote

IOL Comments
01:57pm on 31 January 2012
IOL Comments

This country and the rest of the world need an awakening. It breaks my heart when I read stories like this, that the reality is here right in our midsts. How can these people take our innocents and turn them into there sick fantasies. GIVE THEM TO ME AND I WILL DEAL WITH THEM. I have a very attractive daughter and I get seriously P@##$% off when grown men oogle her I could literally rip there throats out. This country needs something huge to happen to rid it of this digusting filth that roams our streets preying on our innocent children.

Report this

IOL Comments

democrat, wrote

IOL Comments
01:47pm on 31 January 2012
IOL Comments

I hope that this evil gets proper attention from highest levels. Will Big Z be big enough to acknowledge it in his State of the Nation address? Thank you for the informed essay and the referral numbers. Slavery is back in Africa! It is utterly disgraceful and evil.

Report this

IOL Comments

Showing items 1 - 19 of 19

Join us on

IOL-Social networks IOL-Social networks IOL-Social networks IOL-Social networks

Business Directory