Human trafficking: Parents warned to be vigilant

Activists protest against human trafficking. File picture: Sibusiso Ndlovu

Activists protest against human trafficking. File picture: Sibusiso Ndlovu

Published Oct 6, 2016


Cape Town - The Western Cape Department of Social Development (DSD) on Wednesday warned the public, especially parents, to be extra vigilant around the issue of human trafficking.

It is Human Trafficking Awareness Week and the department’s spokesman, Sihle Ngobese, said that “criminal traffickers are increasingly becoming organised crime syndicates, and use deceptive means to potentially abduct and traffic adults and children.

“Given the complex and underground nature of trafficking, reliable statistics are difficult to come by, especially for children,” said Ngobese. “However, the latest United States Trafficking in Persons annual report cited that in 2016 there were 11 conviction and 5 cases currently underway in South Africa.”

According to statistics, 103 victims of trafficking had been assisted in South Africa so far this year, compared to 41 in the previous year.

The report further cited how SA was a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to forced labour and sex trafficking.

“Earlier this year, DSD took in five young boys from KwaZulu-Natal (KZN), who had been recruited and deceived into travelling to Cape Town under the impression of having secured places at a top soccer club’s training academy.”

Ngobese added that the boys were between the ages of 18 and 19 years old.

“As per the Children’s Act of 2005, social workers and officials from the DSD Human Trafficking Unit assisted in transporting the boys back home. This situation thankfully had a positive outcome as the boys evaded being exploited by the scammers,” he said.

Ngobese also urged the public to ensure the safety and care of children and that residents should report any neglected, abandoned or missing children to the police or to the DSD Hotline on 0800 220 250.

African News Agency

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