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Check out hotspots for human trafficking in Gauteng

Several areas across Gauteng have been identified in a recent report as hotspots for the recruitment of human trafficking victims.

According to the #TheTraffickYouNeedToKnow campaign organized by a group of NGOs – A21, the National Freedom Network, and Think Creative Africa – major recruitment areas in Gauteng were Springs, Benoni, Fordsburg, Krugersdorp, Sunnyside, Vereeniging and Vanderbijlpark.

The areas where the victims had been held included Springs, Hillbrow, Randburg, Pretoria, Moreleta Park and Heidelberg.

The campaign said that human trafficking was the fastest-growing criminal industry in the world, generating more than R258 trillion per year.

They said an estimated 2.8 out of every 1 000 people in Africa were living in modern-day slavery.

Of the trafficked victims recorded in Africa, 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.

The report 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.

Nkgabiseng Motau, Think Creative Africa’s co-founder and chief creative officer, said while Freedom Day marked the liberation of South Africa, it “reinforces the freedoms we enjoy today, such as freedom of movement, speech, and choices, of which human trafficking violates”.

Katie Modrau, A21 SA manager, said human trafficking was at an all-time high and often went unnoticed.

“We would like to bring awareness to this crime, the many facets it presents itself in and how civil society can play its role.

“The more we know about this issue, the more we can protect ourselves, our loved ones, and our communities. No one person can do everything but every one of us can do something,” she said.

The #TheTraffickYouNeedToKnow campaign aims to bring awareness to trafficking hotspots throughout SA.

Freedom Network CEO Diane Wilkinson said: “To effectively combat human trafficking, we need strategic networking, collaboration and partnership. We also need awareness, we need civil society to work with government entities, and more discussions need to take place on public platforms.”

There have been a number of human trafficking cases in South Africa over the past year.

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.

Report any human trafficking suspicions to 0800 222 777 or visit 0800222777.org.za or visit www.a21.org or www.nfn.org.za for more information.

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