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29 Apr 2022

Faizel Patel, The Citizen (South Africa)

S. Africa: Report reveals that human trafficking has been the fastest-growing criminal industry across the globe, generating about $16 trillion per year

‘Human trafficking: Several areas in Gauteng identified as hotspots’ 28 April 2022

With human trafficking on the rise across the globe, several areas in Gauteng have been identified as hotspots. This is according to a report by the #TheTraffickYouNeedToKnow campaign, implemented by the NGOs A21, the National Freedom Network and Think Creative Africa. Springs, Benoni, Fordsburg, Krugersdorp, Sunnyside, Vereeniging and Vanderbijlpark have been identified as hotspots for the recruitment of human trafficking victims. Areas where victims are held include Springs, Hillbrow, Randburg, Pretoria, Moreleta Park and Heidelberg. #TheTraffickingYouNeedToKnow campaign aims to bring awareness to trafficking hotspots in SA.

The report reveals that human trafficking has been the fastest-growing criminal industry across the globe, generating about $16 trillion (more than R258 trillion) per year. It is estimated that 2.8 out of every 1,000 people in Africa live in modern-day slavery. The campaign said that of the victims of human trafficking in Africa, at least 64% were children. “The different types of human trafficking include trafficking for forced criminal activities, trafficking for sexual exploitation, trafficking for forced labour, and trafficking for the removal of organs,” said the report. Think Creative Africa’s co-founder and chief creative officer, Nkgabiseng Motau, said human trafficking also affects men, with several recent rescue efforts of large numbers of potential victims from houses in Gauteng where they were being held.

…In January this year, Mpumalanga police rescued a Pakistani national who had been kidnapped and trafficked into South Africa, along with another victim. According to police, they received information regarding a kidnapping that was reported at Johannesburg Central Police Station involving a human trafficker based in Mpumalanga, in Malelane and Valencia. In October last year, a group of “about 50 men” believed to be the victims of a human trafficking syndicate were rescued from a home in Lenasia, Johannesburg. Authorities said the men, allegedly trafficked from East Africa, were rescued by a team of undercover officers after receiving information which initially lead them to a house in Soweto.