It’s Human Trafficking Awareness Week and the Western Cape Department of Social Development (DSD) has warned the public to be vigilant, especially parents, around the issue of human trafficking.
The department’s spokesman, Sihle Ngobese, on Wednesday said that “criminal traffickers are increasingly becoming organised crime syndicates, and use deceptive means to potentially abduct and traffic adults and children.
“Given the complex and underground nature of trafficking, reliable statistics are difficult to come by, especially for children,” said Ngobese.
“However, the latest United States Trafficking in Persons annual report cited that in 2016 there were 11 conviction and 5 cases currently underway in South Africa.”
According to statistics, 103 victims of trafficking had been assisted in South Africa so far this year, compared to 41 in the previous year.
The report further cited how SA was a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to forced labour and sex trafficking.
“Earlier this year, DSD took in five young boys, aged between 18 and 19 years old, from KwaZulu-Natal (KZN), who had been recruited and deceived into travelling to Cape Town under the impression of having secured places at a top soccer club’s training academy.”
Ngobese also urged the public to ensure the safety and care of children and that residents should report any neglected, abandoned or missing children to the police or to the DSD Hotline on 0800 220 250