Fifa final draw throws a shadow over trafficking awareness day

2009-12-01 10:54

AS the world’s media focuses its attention on the Fifa World Cup

2010 final draw in Cape Town on Friday, few will be aware of the effect the

tournament may have on the lives of vulnerable women and children targeted by

trafficking syndicates.

National Trafficking Awareness Day, which takes place two days

before the draw, hopes to raise awareness about the global problem.

“The huge influx of people over this period will drive demand. Of

equal concern is the amount of school-age children who will be trafficked during

this time.

"We have already come across cases of children going missing in

schools and we expect this to escalate over the 2010 period,” said Natalie

Bulling, co-ordinator for Red Light Human Trafficking, an initiative started

with the intention of combating and creating awareness about the disturbing

prevalence of human trafficking in Southern Africa.

Concerns have been raised by Red Light and other organisations

operating in this field that more than 100?000 people could be trafficked into

the country during the World Cup.

Currently South Africa has no legislation to cover human

trafficking. As a result, many cases slip through the radar.

“The absence of

legislation has affected the data-collection, investigation and prosecution of

people involved with in-country and cross-border trafficking,” said Julayga

Alfred, director of Activists Networking against the Exploitation of Child

Domestic Workers.


A global report on trafficking has identified South Africa as

source, transit and destination country for the trafficking of women, men and

children.

The Trafficking in Person’s report has put South Africa on the

tier-two watch list, for the fourth consecutive year for its failure to show

increasing efforts to address trafficking.

More than 175 countries are included

in the report, the most comprehensive worldwide research on the efforts of

governments to combat severe forms of trafficking in persons.

Ranging from tier

one to three, the tier-two watch list places South Africa in a danger zone in

terms of compliance with laws to prevent trafficking.


Director of child rights organisation Molo Songololo, Patric

Solomons, said children have been identified as the most vulnerable during the

World Cup.


“The vulnerable status of children places them at particular risk

of being exploited by their elders in the hope of economic gain.

"Pull factors

specifically related to the 2010 Fifa World Cup are mostly linked to poorer

communities’ perceptions regarding the socio-economic benefits of the event,”

said Solomons.

T
he United Nations estimates that child trafficking generates

$7?billion (R52?billion) to $10 billion annually for traffickers, citing

trafficking in persons as the second most lucrative crime around the world next

to the drug trade.


Solomons said the importance of large-scale awareness campaigns

during the World Cup, which is expected to generate more than $4?billion (the

highest revenue in World Cup history) is of utmost importance.


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