A South African human trafficking expert, Dr Monique Emser, says many victims of human trafficking remain unidentified and the crimes committed against them unreported or misidentified.
Emser, a member of the KZN Human Trafficking‚ Prostitution‚ Pornography and Brothels Task Team disclosed this in her recent work on human trafficking in South Africa.
According to the human traffick expert, there are at least 21 million people who are victims of forced labour across the globe; and most victims come from Asia and Africa.
The report further states: “… this is a conservative estimate. Of this number‚ less than one percent of victims are identified each year.
Men‚ women and children are trafficked for forced labour in agriculture‚ construction‚ mining‚ fishing‚ manufacturing‚ domestic work‚ hospitality‚ begging‚ entertainment‚ and for sexual exploitation.
They are often lured by false promises of jobs‚ education or to pay off debts. The forced recruitment of children to fight in conflicts‚ organ and body part trafficking‚ and forced marriage are also a sad reality.”
In South Africa, Dr Monique Emser found that cases of forced labour remain largely unaddressed despite contentions that it accounts for the majority of victims.
“In 2015‚ not a single case of forced labour was prosecuted.
Lack of resources and capacity are also thought to stymie official efforts to counter-trafficking domestically‚” she added.
Dr Monique Emser Comments On Rescued Kids
Emser’s report comes against the backdrop of the discovery of 57 undocumented Malawian children by North West police on Sunday.
BuzzSouthAfrica learnt that the SAPS rescued the children after a police patrol flagged down a truck driver moving at high speed on Sunday morning.
On investigation and search‚ fifty seven (57) undocumented children aged between 11 and 21 years were found in the back of a delivery truck‚ which had no windows.
According to the police, eighteen (18) of these children were girls (females) while thirty nine (39) of them were boys (males).
These children were transported by three adult occupants who are Malawian nationals.
When interrogated, the three adults failed to provide a satisfactory account on the status of all the children.
The driver and his two companions were arrested for human trafficking.
Nevertheless, SAPS says investigation is currently under way which involves authorities and law enforcement agencies including engagements with counterparts in Malawi.
Remarkably, the world will commemorate World Day against trafficking in humans on July 30.