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Human trafficking march raises awareness in Durban

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Despite efforts by African states to curb this illegal practice, many gaps still enable trafficking and smuggling criminal networks to carry out this trade in human beings
The Deputy Minister of Justice John Jeffrey says it’s mainly men who are victims of human trafficking in Africa. Jeffrey was part of a peaceful march along the Durban promenade alongside the organisation ‘Abolishing All Injustices in the 21st Century to raise awareness and provide information to recognise and report human trafficking.

The rain did not dampen the spirit of over fifty activists from taking part in the march on behalf of the millions of people who are trapped in modern-day slavery.

The activists wearing black T-shirts walked in a single line holding placards written “Real men don’t buy women” and other saying “Stop human trafficking”. Survivors of human trafficking were also part of the silent march.

One of the Survivors Zinhle Dlamini says she was 21 years old when she was trafficked by her friend under the pretense of securing a job in Johannesburg. Dlamini says when she arrived in Johannesburg she was taken to a house drugged and forced into prostitution.

“There were drugs in the house and I was forced to take them. I ended up being addicted to them and when they saw that I am now hooked on them they told me that if I want my next fix I should start taking in clients. So I took clients I smoked with them but all the money I was making went to the owner,” she said.

Zinhle managed to turn her life around and worked with several non-government organisations to help women in similar situations. She says legalising sex work will increase human trafficking.

“I feel like as survivors of prostitution, drugs, and human trafficking if we allow making prostitution legal we would have failed as a nation to protect people. That is why we are calling on our government to come on board because we want the women working the streets to speak for themselves, “said Dlamini.

The justice department says sometimes persons who are trafficked are unaware of the deception and are often coerced into being trafficked. Deputy Minister of Justice John Jeffery says it is mostly people who are desperate for work who are more vulnerable to human trafficking.

“In our continent in Africa, it’s mainly men who are trafficked and mainly in the labour sector. So basically people who are desperate for work and they end up in a situation where they are forced to work and not given an option to leave that’s human trafficking,” said Jeffery.

“ Ukuthwala or the wrong practice of ukuthwala where an agreement is made between the groom the guy looking for a wife and the family of the girl that she will marry him and she’s then forced into that marriage without actually consenting to it that’s human trafficking,”

The Justice Department says South Africa’s neighbours have signed the Trafficking in Persons Protocol. The treaty provides for countries to receive practical assistance to draft national anti-trafficking in person legislation.

Source: SABC


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