Human trafficking, a new epidemic in South Africa

The South African National Human Trafficking Resource Line (SANHTRL)) is the South African leg of an international organisation fighting the fight against the scourge of human trafficking, Roodepoort Record  reports.

According to the organisation’s web site, http://www.080022277.org.za, human trafficking is “the world’s fastest growing criminal industry, it affects every nation across the globe, and is also defined as modern-day slavery”.

The organisation contacted the media after coming across various articles pertaining to the disappearance of Lee Mentoor and of another ‘kidnapping’ which luckily turned out not to be one.

In the light of Mentoor’s disappearance and hundreds of other similar cases across the country, SANHTRL is in the process of preparing a report regarding this tragic evil, aiming to clarify to what extent the West Rand is experiencing this crime.

“South Africa is a source, transit and destination country for victims of trafficking. Our country has become a prime destination for international trafficking syndicates to operate.

Currently statistics show that only one per cent of all victims are rescued.

“There are a few main approaches traffickers use to lure victims, such as fake job offers, mainly for jobs abroad. When the person arrives, she/ he finds that the conditions are different from the ones advertised in the job offer – often the victim’s ID is taken away, and she/ he is forced into labour or sexual exploitation. The lover boy approach – the trafficker courts the victim and pretends to be falling in love with her – is often used. Once he earns the victim’s trust, he sells her to be sexually exploited. The internet, especially social networking sites, is the most used tool by traffickers for research and selection of potential victims,” explained SANHTRL’s web site.

Anyone suspecting the occurrence of trafficking, or with any information on suspected trafficking, can call 0800 222 777. All calls are anonymous and confidential.

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