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Batho Pele Principles

Church partners with government against human trafficking

By: Emmaculate Cindi

Human trafficking has been on the rise for some time now. The Limpopo provincial government, together with Roman Catholic Church in Polokwane, hosted an awareness campaign on Saturday 11 February to highlight this indecent sale of human beings.

Many young African women are being lured under the pretext of job opportunities offering luxury accommodation and salaries between 10 – 20 000 dollars, only to be exploited for commercial sex and forced labour.

Through the testimony of Josephina Bakita – a Sudanese Sister who suffered the pains of being trafficked at a young age of seven – the gaudy details of human trafficking were laid bare for all in attendance. Bakita was sold and resold five times. She later moved to Italy and became a religious Sister.

The act of human trafficking is mostly common in child labour, sex trafficking and drug trade, which occur on the boarders of South Africa.

In 2015 the Department of Home Affairs stipulated that children under the age of 18 should have Unabridged Birth Certificates, containing personal details of both biological parents and/or legal guardian when traveling across South African boarders to minimize and fight child trafficking.

This control measure came after the Department of Home Affairs reported that from 2013, about 30 000 children were trafficked every year. That figure could be higher when you add vulnerable adults who fall victim to employment scams

In 2016 fifty-seven Malawians between the ages of 11 and 21 were rescued in Rustenburg, North West Province, when police officials stopped and inspected delivery truck. This demonstrates the random nature of this insidious act.

Acting on behalf of the Capricorn Municipality Executive Mayor, Cllr Masubelele, pledged active participation in combatting human trafficking. Parents in attendance were also encouraged to be on the lookout for perpetrators who use social media to lure their victims, in most cases unsuspecting teenagers.