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Experts seek ways to combat human trafficking

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Old 19-02-2015, 05:25 PM   #1
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Global Experts seek ways to combat human trafficking

Pretoria – While government has put in place legislative measures to prevent human trafficking, South Africa continues to be a source and destination country for men and women subjected to trafficking for forced labour and sexual exploitation.

According to the United Nations’ 2014 Global Report on Trafficking in Persons, in Africa and the Middle East between 2010 and 2012, sexual exploitation accounted for 53% of trafficking victims, while 37% were subjected to forced labour, servitude and modern day slavery.

It is due to this reality that the Department of Social Development will on Friday host a round table discussion with the view to finding new ways to combat human trafficking.

The round table discussion also seeks to strengthen the partnership between stakeholders in the fight against human trafficking.

It further seeks to share best practices in the prevention and combating of human trafficking in South Africa, as well as promote an extensive and accelerated skills training programme for different role players and front-line personnel, among other things.

The round table discussion to be held at St George Hotel and Conference Centre in Pretoria, will bring together various experts, law makers and role players including, national and provincial representatives from the Justice Crime Prevention and Security Cluster, International Organisation for Migration, the United Nations office on Drugs and Crime and faith-based organisations.

The department noted that human trafficking leads to untold misery, pain and fear for its victims, while also cutting lives short through the murder of victims and sometimes, through victims taking their own lives.

“Survivors of human trafficking often suffer serious short and long term physical, mental, sexual and reproductive health problems. Whilst victims of this crime can be male and female, women and children are the most exploited,” the department said ahead of the round table.

Legislative measures in place

Government has put in place legislative measures to prevent human trafficking, including the Combating of Trafficking in Persons Act and its replacement, the new Prevention and Combating of Trafficking in Persons Act.

A multi-sectoral National Task Team set up by Government comprised of the Departments of Justice and Constitutional Development, Home Affairs, Social Development, the National Prosecutions Authority, the South African Police Services, civil society representatives and the international organisations, has spearheaded the development of the National Action Plan to fight human trafficking in the country.

The Organised Crime Unit of the South African Police Services has also set up the Human Trafficking Desk for a targeted response to the crime.

In addition, the Child Protection and International Social Services Directorates within the Social Development Department are implementing a strategy for the prevention of child trafficking and supporting foreign child victims in the process of repatriation back to their countries of origin.

The Child Protection Directorate also ensures the safe return of South African child victims and unaccompanied South African minors back to their families and legal guardians within the borders of the Republic. –
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