My articles so far in Beloved Magazine have focused on the prostitution debate, which plays a very big role in fuelling human trafficking – and human trafficking has become the new pandemic.
Many people do not know exactly what human trafficking is, as it is most often publicly linked to abduction, children going missing or containers of people shipped across borders. Although these are, in fact, sad realities of human trafficking, unfortunately it is a lot wider and a lot more complex.
This is not a comfortable, feel-good subject to read about, but please bear with me. This information can possibly prevent you, or a loved one, from falling victim to this ever-increasing crime.
So, what is human trafficking then? An easy definition is that it takes place when a person is either tricked, forced, coerced or manipulated into a situation for the use of their body or for their labour. This is a simple overall definition. One can look up the PACOTIP Act (Prevention and Combatting of Trafficking in Persons Act) to find the definition in a lot more detail.
An important aspect to note is that transportation is not required for human trafficking to occur. I will go into this in more detail in my next article.
These are the different faces of human trafficking:
Forced Illegal Activities
Human trafficking is the fastest growing organised crime in the world and the second largest organised crime in the world! One of the great contributors to this is the fact that it is a hidden crime and fear plays a big role. It is often over-shadowed by other crimes, such as the drug trade, prostitution, theft, corruption, etc. Victims also do not easily ask for help, as their lives, or those of their loved ones, are threatened by the traffickers. Some have their identification documents and visas taken from them, and are then threatened with the authorities. Often, children who have been trafficked do not always understand that what is happening to them is not their fault, and is actually illegal.
South Africa is a hub for human trafficking – it is a source, transit and destination country. Many cases of trafficking take place from rural to urban areas, and some of the local contributors to trafficking are as follows: porous borders; high unemployment; muti (murder for body parts); ukuthwala/forced marriage; Zama Zamas (illegal miners); the Blessor-Blessee phenomenon; child-led households/absent parents; technology; pornography.
Remember that traffickers exploit people’s vulnerabilities. This is exactly what human trafficking is – exploitation of vulnerability! Do not fall into a trap. Many people’s dreams are also exploited, as this is another vulnerability that we all have.
I hope that I have made you think through some of the points I have mentioned and I look forward to going into more detail with you in my next article.
Thank you for reading. Stay informed and equipped. Keep safe.
[TdK1]I want to make people curious and will go into detail with each type of HT kind.
Tershia de Klerk Managing Director of The Joseph Movement NPC