The A21 Campaign, a non-profit fighting human trafficking and sexual exploitation, held a talk at the All Saints Anglican Church, in Durbanville, on Saturday October 7.
A21’s awareness and prevention coordinator, Cornel Viljoen, said human trafficking was modern-day slavery and included sex trafficking, forced or bonded labour, involuntary domestic servitude and child soldiers.
“It is the illegal trafficking of human beings for their bodies and their labour through force, fraud and coercion,” she said.
Ms Viljoen said the A21 Campaign’s solution was to reach, rescue and restore.
“Reaching through education and awareness helps with prevention. Rescuing those who have been trafficked and prosecuting the criminals involves working closely with law enforcement, NGOs and governments. Restoring the dignity of victims is based on individual needs through providing housing, counselling, repatriation, education and employment,” she said.
According to A21, human trafficking is the fastest growing crime in the world today, generating more than $150 billion a year with only 1% of victims ever being rescued. Almost half of all South Africans are vulnerable to human trafficking and some 250 000 are already caught up in the web of trafficking.
A separate talk was given to Grade 4 to 7 pupils by A21 volunteer Angela Pegoraro de Abreu.
The organisation offers talks at schools to help spread awareness. Children are taught important numbers to call and the dangers of social media.
The public can call the national human trafficking resource line at 0800 222 777 to report suspected trafficking, ask for victim assistance, or obtain training and more information. Visit www.A21.org, email info.sa@A21.org or find the A21 Campaign on Facebook for more information.