The threat of human trafficking – mainly for prostitution – is clearly not going to go away. Many observers believe trafficking is a growing menace in SA that must not be minimised.
In Cape Town, several cases of trafficking were exposed by the vital work of the Vice Squad. A media report, “Shocking reality of SA human trafficking” reveals the extent of the problem.
SOS Children’s Villages also reveal that human trafficking is the greatest threat to children in SA.
As Africa’s largest economy, South Africa presents a compelling destination to crime syndicates and human traffickers to ply their evil trade. High levels of corruption are also a major draw-card.
Despite steady progress by the Justice Portfolio Committee in Parliament last year, the “Prevention & Combating of Trafficking in Persons” (TIP) Bill has still not been finalised.
Prosecuting authorities are using various bits of legislation to prosecute trafficking cases. But this is not ideal. Considering the dire threat human trafficking presents vulnerable women & children, what the nation needs is comprehensive ‘trafficking’ legislation to effectively combat this crime.
I have written to Luwellyn Landers, the Chairperson of the Justice Portfolio Committee in Parliament requesting an update on the status of the TIP Bill. Apparently, the Bill is 95% done.
The TIP Bill is the most comprehensive legislation to prevent and combat human trafficking in SA. Steve Swart, the ACDP member of the committee said, “The committee is working hard to close loopholes in the Bill that can be abused by unscrupulous individuals.”
However, human trafficking – mainly for sexual exploitation remains a clear and present danger. The TIP Bill must be urgently finalised and enacted to effectively fight against this terrible scourge.
The Salvation Army has established a 24 hour toll free “Human trafficking hotline” to report human trafficking cases in SA. Please distribute this number widely. Public diligence is critical.
The good news is that strip clubs, escort agencies and other venues of sexual exploitation and abuse are coming under increased scrutiny. Mavericks recently lost their corporate permits and are being investigated by the Human Rights Commission for abuse of its foreign “exotic dancers.”
In another case that confirms there is no such thing as a “legitimate business” in the sex industry, a foreign strip club owner is facing charges for extortion and cannot raise his bail money.
Please continue to pray for breakthrough in the TIP Bill and that God will expose the terrible sexual exploitation and abuse of women and children in the legal – and illegal sex industry in SA.
Please write to Luwellyn Landers in Parliament thanking him for the diligent work the Justice Portfolio Committee has done on the TIP Bill. Please also respectfully request he prioritise the TIP Bill this year. We desperately need this comprehensive legislation to combat trafficking in SA.
Luwellyn Landers – Chairperson Justice Portfolio Committee – firstname.lastname@example.org
Please also copy the members of the Justice Portfolio Committee in Parliament. email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org
NB: The NPA are prosecuting trafficking cases using bits of other legislation. However, this is not good enough. We must have comprehensive trafficking legislation to combat this complex criminal enterprise.