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Anti-human trafficking drive launched as Gauteng is identified as SA’s hotspot

People protest against scourge of human trafficking.Image: Phill Makakoe

People protest against scourge of human trafficking.Image: Phill Makakoe

Published Apr 30, 2022

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A campaign that aims to bring awareness to human trafficking hotspots throughout South Africa has identified Gauteng as South Africa’s human trafficking hotspot.

This week in commemoration of Freedom Day, anti-human trafficking non-profit organisations a21 and the National Freedom Network and through-the-line agency Think Creative Africa launched the #TheTraffickYouNeedToKnow campaign, which focuses on the state of human trafficking in South Africa.

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REPORT identifies Gauteng as SA's human traffic capital. l JAE C HONG/AP

The campaign aims to bring awareness to trafficking hotspots throughout South Africa, and by doing so bring awareness to communities so that they know what to look out for and how to stay safe.

The campaign, aimed at the public, the government and the police, is targeting Gauteng, a major trafficking hotspot, with messaging across out of home, social media, and radio.

“Human trafficking is the fastest-growing criminal industry in the world, generating more than R258 trillion per year. An estimate of 2,8 out of every 1 000 people in Africa are living in modern- day slavery. Of the trafficked victims recorded in Africa, 64% are children,” said the organisations.

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According to the campaign, South Africa is a country that is a source, destination and transit country for human trafficking, particularly in Gauteng.

The organisations said that the hotspot areas where recruitment took place in Gauteng included Springs, Benoni, Fordsburg, Krugersdorp, Sunnyside, Vereeniging and Vanderbijlpark.

The exploitation areas where the victims have been held include Springs, Hillbrow, Randburg, Pretoria, Moreleta Park and Heidelberg.

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The different types of human trafficking include trafficking for forced criminal activities; trafficking for sexual exploitation; trafficking for forced labour; and, trafficking for the removal of organs.

“Human trafficking also affects men, with several recent rescue efforts of large numbers of potential victims from houses in Gauteng where they were being held,” the campaign said.

Think Creative Africa co-founder and chief creative officer, Nkgabiseng Motau, said Freedom Day marked the liberation of the country and its people but it was more than that. It reinforced the freedoms South Africans enjoy today, such as freedom of movement, speech, and choices, all of which human trafficking violates.

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“Human trafficking is at an all-time high within our societies and more so goes unnoticed. We’d like to bring awareness to this crime, the many facets it presents itself in and how civil society can play its role.

“Human trafficking is the abuse of children, women, and men for their bodies and labour. It’s modern-day slavery. The more we know about this issue, the more we can protect ourselves, our loved ones, and our communities. No one person can do everything but every one of us can do something,” added Katie Modrau – A21 South Africa Country Manager.

National Freedom Network chief executive Diane Wilkinson said to effectively combat human trafficking, the country needed strategic networking, collaboration, and partnership.

“We also need awareness, we need civil society to work with government entities, and more discussions need to take place on public platforms,” Wilkinson said.

@Chulu_M

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