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In my previous article I mention that transportation is not required for Human Trafficking to take place. There is a great misconception of what Human Trafficking is – some think immediately of sex trafficking or labour trafficking. However, we are all often surrounded by various forms of trafficking, without realising.

An example of situations in which no transportation is required is as follows: mothers prostituting out their own children from their own home; a wife coerced into the system of prostitution; a domestic worker forced to work and live at the same residence under harsh circumstances and with very little or no remuneration; a child born into a farm worker family, forced by the farmer to remain and work on the farm as a form of payment towards their family’s apparent “debt”.

The different faces, or types, of Human Trafficking are not only sex trafficking and labour trafficking, but also domestic servitude, forced marriage, forced begging, organ and baby harvesting, child soldiers, forced illegal activities, snuff movies and Bacha Bazi.

  • Domestic servitude is when individuals within a household appear to be nannies, housekeepers, or other types of domestic workers, but they are being controlled and exploited.
  • Forced marriage is normally abduction for an arranged marriage or abduction without agreement. The most common cases in South Africa are called Ukuthwala. This used to be a beautiful cultural Xhosa practice, but has been distorted over the years – it now happens that young girls are taken by force by much older men.
  • Forced begging is very prevalent in South Africa and happens when an individual is manipulated or coerced into begging. There are normally serious consequences should they not return to their trafficker with money and/or gifts.
  • Organ harvesting takes place in order to meet the so-called “demand” on the black market, which also includes the demand for muti and satanic rituals.
  • Baby harvesting takes place when a pregnant woman is forced to hand over her baby after birth. It also happens that a mother gives birth to a healthy baby or babies and is told afterwards that the baby, or one of the babies, did not survive. Babies are also used for rituals and satanic sacrifices.
  • Child soldiers – Children are often trafficked into war-torn areas, trained and forced into combat.
  • Forced illegal activities – this takes place when a person is forced to commit crimes. They or their family are either threatened, or manipulated into it. One example is Zama Zamas, who are illegal miners. The victims are often children, as they are easily manipulated and can fit through small holes and channels underground.
  • Snuff movies are films that are created by torturing and murdering the victim on camera. These films are made available on the dark web.
  • Bacha Bazi is also known as Boy Play, in which adolescent boys are required by older men to dance and sexually satisfy them.

I hope that I have drawn a better picture with regards to the extent of Human Trafficking. It is not a pleasant picture, nor detail that one wants to think about. However, it is vital to know these different faces of trafficking, as it helps us become more vigilant and aware of the dangers around us. It is also a step closer in helping us notice possible trafficking victims.

South Africa has a National Human Trafficking Hotline! This number is toll-free and available 24/7. You can contact this number anonymously, to in order to report suspected Human Trafficking situation: 0800 222 777.

Thank you for reading. Stay informed, equipped and empowered. Keep safe.

With love, Tershia

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