Thursday, May 21, 2009

Creating human trafficking laws in South Africa

South Africa has never had any laws on human trafficking. Now the government has created a commission to form new laws to combat this social ill.

From the Independent On Line, we read how the absence of a law made the policing of human trafficking in South Africa difficult.

Until now, human traffickers could only be charged with kidnapping, or, when relevant, assault and murder.

Women and children are most vulnerable, most often being used in prostitution rackets.

South Africa is party, however, to the UN's protocol to prevent, suppress and punish trafficking in persons, especially women and children, and is therefore required to enact appropriate legislation.

A human rights activist and executive board member of the Southern Africa Network against Trafficking and the Abuse of Children (Santac), Vusi Ndukuya, welcomed the bill.

"It is often very difficult to prosecute traffickers because trafficking in persons itself is a very complex issue involving different actions and the involvement of different people," Ndukuya said.

Ndukuya said that one example of the complexity of the issue was the recent case of three children from Mozambique who were transported from Mozambique to South Africa while lying drugged on the back seat of a car.

"Would this be considered a case of trafficking or kidnapping?" asked Ndukuya.

The children were taken through the border illegally, but managed to escape once they had reached South Africa.

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