Corps Sgt.Maj. Ross Henderson of the Salvation Army has called for a united endeavour to mobilise the community, together with community structures in fighting against human trafficking, which is on the rise in the Northern Cape.
Henderson made the call during the Salvation Army’s campaign against human trafficking that was hosted at the clearing of the Pick n Pay circle in Galeshewe on Saturday, 29 July.
The MEC for Transport, Safety and Liaison, Pauline Williams, applauded the Salvation Army for the campaign and called on parents to turn a blind eye and be vigilant and act in time to protect their children.
Describing human trafficking as “an evil that exists in our communities”, MEC for Transport, Safety and Liaison Pauline Williams expressed how frightening the statistics of the Hawks’ investigations are.
- “Human trafficking is insidious, underground, immoral and ruthless. But it is a well-orchestrated practice that attacks our young people at the heart of their human dignity, robs them of a bright future and puts them at the mercy of evildoers.”
She added that trafficking is related to relationshipscharacterised by older men and women, sometimes in positions of family trust, employing several tactics, including violence or the threat thereof, to bait young girls into relationships of depravity and corruption.
“These faceless monsters buy young girls and boys gifts and give them alcohol and drugs to create a bond of dependency.
“They attack the heart of our young people’s resistance and create soulless zombies who, with no help or assistance, have no hope for a life lived with honour and promise.”
She pointed out how boys and girls disappear after being lured away with promises of money and prosperity – only to find themselves trapped in awful conditions with no hope of escape.
Survivors, shamedShe continued to highlight the reality of the survivors being left by what they were forced to do, are often unwilling to face the outside world again.
The MEC called on various stakeholders and members of the community to join her department in its interventions towards addressing human trafficking throughout the province.
“We have already done surveys in Kimberley to try and understand the reach of this issue and to determine how best we can move forward in creating awareness. We want to ensure that we teach our children how to be safe.
“This can be done by empowering our parents and teachers to identify the warning signs and to know how to report it.”
She singled out poverty as a very serious catalyst of the problem.
“It is a treacherous shame that we allow a practice that destroys the souls of our children to flourish.
“Parents see their children coming home with new shoes and cellphones that they know they weren’t able to afford, but because they do not have the means or do not have work, they turn a blind eye,” she said.
The campaign included messages of support delivered by the Hawks, Operation Wanya Tsotsi and the Social and Civil Society Formations, as well as Volkswagen representatives.
A strong and hard-hitting dramatisation of the trafficking process also exposed the tactics used by predators to lure young people into captivity and exploitation.
“Human trafficking is insidious, underground, immoral and ruthless. – Pauline Williams