WESTERN CAPE: July is recognized as Human Trafficking awareness month by Law Enforcement Agencies in South Africa since the signing into law of the first comprehensive legislation on human trafficking, the Prevention and Combating of Trafficking in Persons Bill (PCTPB), by President Jacob Zuma on the 29 July 2013 which, among other goals, seeks to implement South Africa’s international obligations with respect to the problem.
The last week of July saw members of the Hawks taking a stand and engaging in various activities aimed at heightening general awareness for the sad reality that #Humantraffickingisreal.
The events started on 27th July when various agencies including the Hawks, SAPS, City Vice Squad, and Metro Police were gathered for a workshop initiated by an NGO called A21 in the Castle Hall in Cape Town CBD wherein a new Human Trafficking Hotline Number 0800 222 777 was launched, the initiative was aimed at sharing experiences of Human Trafficking and teaching members how to deal with human trafficking instances as and when they arise.
The highlight was the actual awareness campaign on the 30th of July recognized worldwide as (World Day against Trafficking in Persons).
The team that included members from the Hawks and Stop Trafficking of People (STOP) in and around Main Road in Somerset West engaging passers-by on an educational campaign about human trafficking.
It was however alarming to note that majority of people who were spoken to do not have the slightest idea of what human trafficking is all about.
Human trafficking, also known as modern-day slavery or the trade of humans, is a global phenomenon, which is leaving ruins in its wake, destroying the lives and future of so many people trans-nationally, we are only likely to counter it if we join hands and fight together to ensure that it is eradicated from our beautiful country.
The day was a great success with over 500 people on the streets taking part in the initiative, photos were taken and shall be posted to social media platforms.
Provincial Head of the Hawks in the Western Cape, Major General Nombuso Khoza, lauded the initiative and said the following: “We are delighted to have worked with the NGOs as afore mentioned, in ensuring that the message reaches far and wide, we are particularly pleased to give a voice to the voiceless who are often the victims of this scourge.
This campaign came at an opportune time as the month of July is earmarked as human trafficking awareness month. This topic is rarely spoken about in our communities, yet it is gaining momentum to the detriment of society at large. Human Trafficking knows no colour, creed or religion.
We can only make a difference with more voices and more campaigns of a similar nature. It begins with us.” She said.
The recent incidents of Human Trafficking scenes in the Provinces of North West, Limpopo and lately the Free State, where a combined number of not less than 150 people including women and children (co-incidentally all from Malawi) were rescued from the jaws of unscrupulous traffickers, is indicative of hard work paying off on the part of Law Enforcers, it paints a positive picture in the efforts being put in fighting the scourge.
In conclusion, let US continue to work together to fight this ugly reality of Human Trafficking as it is REAL.
Media enquiries: Captain Lloyd Ramovha -071481 3518