World Cup trafficking fears

iomJOHANNESBURG - The International Organisation for Migration (IOM) has expressed fear of an increased human trafficking of Zimbabweans crossing the Limpopo as the countdown to the FIFA World Cup looms.

The football showcase expected to attract more than 350 000 fans from outside South Africa, and is described in the IOM assessment report as a negative development for young girls, the unemployed and the sick. The border town of Musina has been labelled a trouble spot for vulnerable people who fall into the hands of the Malaisha, human traffickers, according to the IOM in its report. Many migrants are exploited by the traffickers because they are not aware of immigration procedures and they take risks by travelling through non-border post crossings.

“Evidence was found of trafficking for the purposes of sexual exploitation, sexual slavery, labour exploitation, sale of illegal substances and goods, forced criminal activity, extortion and other forms of exploitation,” the report reads. Traffickers, says the report, are on the lookout for desperate Zimbabweans seeking greener pastures in South Africa. “These groups include victims of sexual and gender-based violence, those who have been stranded, robbed and subjected to other forms of violence, women and girls involved in prostitution and transactional sexual behaviour and unaccompanied minors,” reads the report.

The IOM research team has said that South Africa should embark on an in depth awareness and educational campaign to improve the understanding of human trafficking. It has, however, been difficult for IOM and other non-governmental organisations to provide figures of trafficking other than highlighting the phenomenon.

Post published in: News

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *