9 Things You Should Know About Human Trafficking in South Africa

Diamond_miners-1-1. The Government of South Africa does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking[i]

2. In May 2013, parliament passed the Prevention and Combatting of Trafficking in Persons Act (PACOTIP), which was signed by President Zuma in July 2013[ii] Mthunzi Mhaga, spokesperson for the Ministry of Justice and Correctional Services, admits: “The Act has not been put into operation and therefore no prosecution could have taken place under the new legislation[iii]”.

3. In South Africa alone, there are apparently 106 000 people living in conditions of slavery.

4. The Global Slavery Index 2014 defines modern slavery as human trafficking, forced labour, forced marriage, debt bondage and the sale of children.[iv]

5. WFF’s Global Slavery Index 2014 found South Africa to have the lowest prevalence of modern slavery in sub-Saharan Africa, but says it is still a problem[v]

6. Across sub-Saharan Africa, WFF found that only eight nations have allocated money with a “clear budget” to tackle the problem. South Africa is not one of the eight.[vi]

7. Forced marriage is not included In S.A’s definition of human trafficking as it is not considered as labour. This may be true of many cases, yet experts have warned that in South Africa the tradition of forced marriages through ‘ukuthwala’ is being abused for human trafficking purposes.[vii]

8. Some local law enforcement officials are believed to be connected with organized criminal elements that engage in human trafficking[viii].

9. There are an estimated 30,000 child prostitutes. Of those 30,000 children trafficked the vast majority are young women under 18 years of age[ix].



[i] http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/226848.pdf (pg 348)
[ii] IBID
[iii] http://www.news24.com/SouthAfrica/News/Dont-look-away-SAs-dirty-slavery-secret-in-2014-20141110
[iv] http://www.news24.com/SouthAfrica/News/SA-is-hiding-100-000-slaves-shock-new-report-claims-20141117
[v] IBID
[vi] IBID
[vii] http://www.news24.com/SouthAfrica/News/Dont-look-away-SAs-dirty-slavery-secret-in-2014-20141110
[viii] South Africa”. Trafficking in Persons Report 2008. U.S. Department of State (4 June 2008).
[ix] http://www.s-cape-home.org/?page_id=8 (accessed 23/11/2014)

  1 comment for “9 Things You Should Know About Human Trafficking in South Africa

  1. Lydia
    November 24, 2014 at 10:21 pm

    Sobering. Add to that number some of the children of prostitues who are withheld from their mothers, used as leverage, by pimps to keep their work going. This happens just down the road in our own city, often.

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