Minister Fritz and A21 call on citizens to learn about human trafficking
Minister Fritz said, “Human trafficking refers to the buying and selling of people for the purposes of exploitation which includes sex work, forced or bonded labour, involuntary domestic servitude, child soldiers or organ trafficking. South Africa, and in particular the Western Cape, is a source, transit, and destination for men, women, and children subjected to forced labour and sex trafficking. Of those who are taken, it is estimated that less than 2% are ever found.”
“Targets of human trafficking are typically persons who are the most vulnerable in our society. They may be lured in through false job advertisements, sold by family, seduction, abducted, trafficked by a ‘friend’ or through false immigration”, Minister Fritz added.
Victims of human trafficking can be identified as they:
- Are controlled by another person and are not free to come and go as they wish;
- Are unpaid, paid very little or only paid through tips;
- Exhibit poor mental and physical health including substance abuse, signs of physical abuse or malnourishment;
- Avoid eye contact;
- Have few or no personal possessions;
- Are not permitted to speak for themselves (a third party may insist on being present and/or translating); and
- Have a limited ability to speak the local language and have little knowledge of their whereabouts.
Rene said, “Victims of trafficking are often hidden in plain sight, engaged in seemingly legitimate businesses within our local economies. The control exerted over them can be subtle, financial, psychological or even physical through brute force. This can keep the criminal and victim invisible to the unknowing public. On 7 August 2019, A21 will be launching ‘The Can you See Me?’ campaign which shines a light on modern slavery and human trafficking to make the invisible visible. The campaign will unpack the different types of trafficking, making it as easy as possible for a potential victim to identify risky scenarios and onlookers to identify victims. The call to action asks the viewer to be aware and to report their suspicions. As members of a community, we are best placed to spot the unusual in everyday life.”
Minister Fritz added, “If you’ve received a work offer that seems ‘too good to be true’, particularly if it is in a city or country that you are unfamiliar with, it may be in your interest to validate this job offer. This can be done by contacting the Department of Labour.”
Rene said, “To report any suspected cases of human trafficking, community members can call the National Human Trafficking Resource Line on 0800 222 777. The Resource Line acts a tool for community members to use at various times. It can assist if you have been trafficked and need help; if you know of someone who has been trafficked and may require case management services; if you have knowledge or have seen suspicious behaviour from a person/location in your community that may indicate trafficking. Other services include vetting potentially false job opportunities, referrals, technical training for frontline professionals and community awareness events.”
Suspected cases can also be directed to the SAPS on 10111 or the Department of Social Development’s (DSD) Hotline on 0800 220 250.
Under the leadership of Minister Albert Fritz, the Department of Community Safety together with the Western Cape Government, NGOs and civil society; will continue to use all the tools at their disposal to raise awareness of human trafficking and safeguard those most vulnerable in the province.
Attention broadcasters, please find English audio clip attached.