SOUTH AFRICA THE CAPITAL OF HUMAN AND SEX TRAFFICKING
South Africa is now counted among the worlds leading countries when it comes to human and sex trafficking.
This was revealed in the United States Department of State 2021 Trafficking in Persons Report, which showed that in South Africa the trafficking of young girls was a growing trend. The report claims that domestic and foreign victims in South Africa are being exploited by human traffickers.
“Traffickers recruit victims from poor countries and poor rural areas within South Africa, particularly the Gauteng province. The victims are exploited in sex trafficking locally and in urban centers, such as Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban and Bloemfontein. The trafficking rings exploit young girls of about 10 years old,” the report stated.
The report highlighted that the human trafficking syndicate by Nigerian nationals, who are known to coerce and force women from Nigeria and countries neighboring South Africa into commercial sex (engagement in sexual activity in exchange for money or goods). Among which traffickers listed as operating in South Africa were from nationals from the Democratic Republic of Congo, Nigeria, Cameroon and Ghana.
Speaking to Iziko, Tarryn Frankish, a research psychologist and media lecturer explained that when a person talks about sex crimes, one must broadly must look towards human rights as well as the constitution of the country to understand what counts as sex crime.
“People have a right to decide what to do with their own bodies, as long as you are not making a decision or giving a consent, that will be regarded as sex crime. It is important because it has got to do with the persons individual will, autonomy and control they have over their own body,” Frankish said.
Consent becomes an important issue because in order to demonstrate control over your own body, an individual must then consent to anything that is happening to ones body .
“It is tricky because adult women, generally have the right to consent and to make clear and verbal decisions about what happens to them and their bodies. Talking about children becomes difficult because countries have different recognition when consent happens,” added Frankish.
According to the report the South African government had not much to curb the trafficking, it did however point out that the government had plans underway to put punitive measures place.