From the news desk

Our future is dying out, let’s unite to protect our children!

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By Loushe Jordaan Gilbert

The reality is that children are trafficked in South Africa daily but not much awareness is raised as media outlets do not make this known, they only highlight big cases, yet on the Cape Flats are children are being killed with no media coverage. This is according to Tershia (Breytenbach) de Klerk, the Founder of the Joseph Movement, an organization that works towards Reducing, Exposing and helping to Prevent Modern-Day Slavery, Human Trafficking and Sexual Exploitation.

Speaking to residents across the Cape Flats, VOC News asked if residents feel their children are safe in a country that celebrates 30 years of democracy.

“Children are deprived of their freedom to move. Children are our future, and our future is being killed daily. Child murderers should get harsher punishments.”

“Every missing child is robbed of their future. We as parents should look after our kids and that of our neighbours.”

“Parents should be more involved in the lives of their children; social media has created a massive platform for perpetrators to access our children. Most cases in which children go missing, its at the hands of people who they know, to whom they are close.”

“It is so sad that we have to raise our children to be afraid of the cruel elements of the world.”

Community activist Roegshanda Pascoe said parents, the community and government should do more to protect the children.

“Not enough is done to protect our children on a parenting level and on a governmental level. There is not even a safe place in our community to help parents who need assistance, especially the single parents, if we could just come together as a community to safeguard our children, then we would reduce the number of missing children,” she said.

Another resident encouraged parents to report their children missing the minute they realise their children are late when coming home from school or visiting friends.

“Report your child missing immediately, we do not have to wait 24 hours to report our children missing. 24 hours is too long to wait.”

Another resident said waiting 24 hours before reporting your child missing reduces the chances of finding your child.

“It takes less than 24 hours for a perpetrator to change the appearance of a child, we see it on TV, how they change the children’s clothing, dye the hair, hide a birth mark and to drug your child to ensure that they don’t reach out for help etc., waiting 24 hours reduces the chances of finding your child and makes it easier to transfer your child from one person to another,” she added.

When asked if enough is done to raise awareness around missing children, a frustrated mother shared the following sentiments.

“The government is failing us. Crime is increasing daily. When children are affected by a crime, not enough is done and it saddens me to the core. They just do not care, and it is sickening.”

We appeal to anyone to come forward with any information about any missing child to contact their local police station. It takes a community to raise a child, but it takes a whole nation to keep them safe.

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