Why haven’t we ended trafficking?

2010-03-20 16:00

SNARED by false promises. Deceived. Threatened. Smuggled. Abused.

Exploited. Prostituted. Brutalised. Enslaved. Trapped.

“Trafficking” is the umbrella term for a complex series of

devastating crimes against disempowered victims.

People become commodities, sold to the highest bidder.

South Africa, with its notoriously porous borders, has long been a

hotbed of human smuggling and trafficking.

Many believe that the 2010 World Cup has provided a renewed impetus

to criminal groups that make their living from the sex industry.

The South African government, international organisations and civil

society have been working on comprehensive anti-trafficking legislation for

almost a decade.

The Prevention and Combating of Trafficking in Persons Bill was

finally introduced to Parliament this week, but there are still years of work

ahead to shape it into enforceable legislation and train law enforcement

agencies to apply it.

Trafficking victims have little recourse without the legislation.

Unless they are lucky enough to be rescued by the small handful of NGOs or

shelters that can care for them, they face arrest and deportation.

Countries with far fewer resources, such as Mozambique, Malawi and

Zambia, have trafficking legislation in place.

Why has it taken us so long to outlaw one of the world’s most evil

criminal enterprises?


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