NFS News Archive South Africa
Not For Sale celebrates justice served, following the arrest of a notorious sex trafficker and drug dealer in South Africa. Cape Town officials are naming the arrest one of the most significant recent breakthroughs in the local fight against human trafficking.
A Special Report from Not For Sale South Africa
By Christina Bacino (Not For Sale South Africa Director)
When I first met Sarah in 2011 she had just escaped her traffickers, was desperate to get help, and was addicted to heroine.
Earlier in the year we announced that Not For Sale South Africa had joined forces with Mxit, Africa’s largest social networking service, to fight human trafficking in the region. Not For Sale advertised a survey on the site in order to gain an understanding as to the level of knowledge of human trafficking in South Africa. Users who clicked the link were asked 11 ‘yes’ or ‘no’ questions regarding human trafficking, both in general and regionally specific. A toll-free number was also provided at the end of the survey, so users could report instances of modern-day slavery. The results, we found, were positive. A total of 2,851 people took the survey and our analysis is taken from a sample size of 498 individuals.
Despite progressive economic development, South Africa, like many countries within Africa, has a large incidence of human trafficking. Not For Sale began work in South Africa during the 2010 Soccer World Cup, and has since developed pivotal relationships with law enforcement in the country, providing investigation technique training to them, translation services and vital communication with local NGOs regarding shelter. The following story highlights both an example of human trafficking in South Africa, as well as Not For Sale’s role in assisting the rehabilitation of survivors.
Since 2010, Not For Sale South Africa has witnessed a large portion of people from China being assisted through our efforts on the ground. In South Africa, Not For Sale works with national law enforcement and alongside the Counter Trafficking Coalition of Cape Town to identify and assist survivors of trafficking.
Not For Sale in South Africa has recently joined forces with the social networking service Mxit to fight human trafficking in the region. Mxit is Africa’s largest social networking service with over 40 million users in South Africa alone. Through the use of a survey concerning human trafficking on Mxit’s platform, Not For Sale will gain a better understanding into an individual’s knowledge of human trafficking in vulnerable communities. In doing this Not For Sale can not only increase understanding of human trafficking in South Africa, but also work to identify trends of trafficking by region and better assist those that may be vulnerable. Since 2010, Not For Sale South Africa has worked alongside law enforcement to aid in the detection and translation processes as well as help survivors find shelter after being rescued. To date, we have worked to identify and assist almost 80 survivors of trafficking in the region.
Recently, the 2012 Trafficking In Persons Report was published by the US State Department. South Africa, a country where Not For Sale actively works to assist victims of human trafficking and provide them with opportunities to create new futures, was rated as a ‘Tier 2′ country; a country whose government does not fully comply with the standards of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA) but is making significant efforts to bring themselves into compliance with those standards. In recent years, South Africa has moved up from the ‘Tier 2 Watch List’; meaning that the country’s efforts to address human trafficking have started to receive positive feedback.
Three years ago, when Not For Sale first began working in South Africa, traffickers – if convicted, were charged with kidnapping and other less serious crimes. Recently, Justice Portfolio Committee Chairperson Luwellyn Landers announced that as soon as next month, the Parliament will pass the Prevention and Combating of Trafficking in Persons Bill –criminalizing human trafficking, prostitution, and forced labor.
Not For Sale South Africa recently announced the exciting news that they have secured property in Cape Town for a new crisis center. The new center will be entirely funded by the proceeds raised at the recent Passion 2012 and will provide immediate services and care for newly rescued survivors.