Bringing Light to the Darkness of Human Trafficking (Trafficking in Persons)

Here's a few tips one can follow to prevent becoming a human trafficking victim

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Basic Tips

  • Ensure your mobile phone is charged and has airtime
  • Speed Dial (Save important numbers on your phone)
  • ALWAYS be aware of your surroundings & the people around you
  • Never meet anyone at an abandoned place (especially alone)
  • Always tell someone where you are going

human trafficking basic tip

Child Safety

  • Children must know their full name(s), age(s), telephone number(s) and address(es).
  • Children must know how to contact you, the SAPS or another close relative in an emergency
  • Children should always ask your permission before accepting gifts from strangers
  • Children must know that if he/she/they become separated from you in a mall, he/she/they must go to a store employee or cashier for help immediately; OR look for another mommy with kids
  • Keep your child in your eyesight at all times
  • Never leave children unattended (especially in parks & malls)
  • Children should be taught to make a scene (kick, scream and resist by yelling loudly) if a stranger tries to take them. They can also scream: "This person is not my father/mother/guardian”
  • Monitor your child’s internet use, as predators often groom kids online for exploitation
  • Don’t have personalised items
    Do not write your children’s’ names where anyone can see it (e.g. bag, clothes). This is because when strangers know your child's name they come across as friendly and familiar - and subsequently your child is much more likely to trust them.
  • Use a “code”-word system
    With your children, make up a family code word that is neither too common nor so bizarre that it would be hard to use naturally. Children can then use the code word in different situations. For example, if you've sent someone to pick up your child - they should be aware of what the code word is so they'll know not to leave with anyone else.
  • Body Secrets
    When a child is sexually abused, they can often be told not to tell their parents about what has happened to them, and to keep it a secret between them and the abuser. Teaching your children to never keep 'body secrets' is important and they should know to tell you immediately if somebody has touched a part of their body and asked them to hide it from you.

human trafficking child safety

Malls / Meeting someone you do not know

  • Be aware
  • Do not meet anyone alone or in an abandoned area or at strange times
  • Tell people where you are going & give them the contact number of the person you are meeting
  • ALWAYS have an exit strategy
  • Don’t ignore Red flags – if you are uncomfortable… get out!
  •  If you leave the shopping centre after dark - particularly if you're carrying several bundles - ask a security officer to accompany you to your car
  • Avoid using bathrooms that are tucked away in a back area of a mall. If you can, find a bathroom near the mall's food court or other well-trafficked area
  • PARENTS: Always go with your child when they meet someone & introduce yourself (most traffickers do not want the parents to see them).

human trafficking safety

Personal Safety

  • You have the right to refuse any unwelcome, uncomfortable or confusing touch or actions by others (even if it is family, friends or teachers)
  • If you are not comfortable with anything someone asks you to do, you are in your full right to say NO.
  • If someone forces/threatens you to do it, tell someone
  • Do not accept anything with strings attached

human trafficking personal safety

Social Clubs / Parties

  • Before you set off for your night out, plan your travel arrangements for afterwards
  • To avoid the risk of your drink being ‘spiked’ with drugs or alcohol, never accept drinks from strangers or leave your drink unattended
  • Cover your drink with the palm of your hand or napkin in crowded situations
  • Never accept a drink that you haven’t seen the bartender pour
  • Avoid excessive drinking
  • Stay in well-lit areas as much as possible
  • Always be aware of your surroundings
  • Never go out alone
  • Eat before you go out and drink plenty of water
  • Ensure your mobile phone is charged and has airtime
  • Take note of the exits — how many there are and where they’re exactly located

human trafficking party safety

Social Media / Internet / Chat Rooms

One of the easiest ways for traffickers to find victims is through Social Media. Traffickers will spend months conversing with potential victims to gain their trust; make them distrust their own parents/partners; groom them; etc.

Once they have gained the victim’s trust they can ask for intimate pictures (which they can then use to blackmail them with / groom them for sex work) and/or arrange to meet them from where they will then be trafficked. Traffickers makes enough money from victims that they will spend months gaining the trust of their victims via Social Media.

(Especially teenagers)

  • Do not post / send / share intimate photos or information
    Remember: If you wouldn’t say it or do it in public, don’t post it online
  • Do not post photos you do not want a trafficker to see
  • Do not post where you are going / time you are going away
  • Do not post personal details, including phone numbers, home address, and the name of school
  • Do not accept every “friend” request - try to only accept friends’ requests from people you know in real life
  • Just because you know someone on the internet, does not mean that you actually know them – do not agree to meet them alone. If you do want to meet them, arrange to see them at a busy place (e.g. mall) & never alone
  • Once posted, always posted: Protect yourself on social networks. What you post online stays online.
  • Tell someone if someone online makes you feel uncomfortable

 

  • PARENTS: if possible, keep the computer in a living area with the screen turned towards the room so that you can see what your child is doing on the computer
  • PARENTS: “Friend” your child’s accounts
  • PARENTS: Do not share personal information of your child online
  • PARENTS: Keep an open dialogue with your children. Ask them to let you know if they've received private messages from a stranger, or from someone at school who is teasing, harassing or threatening them.

human trafficking social media safety tip

Work / Modelling / Sport Opportunities

  • Check EVERY opportunity for legitimacy (just because they have a Facebook page & Website does not mean they exist)
  • Ask for a Contract before you report for duty
  • Request their company registration number
  • Check to see if they have a working landline number (A landline can pinpoint a location)
  • See if the company is associated with other companies.
    E.g. Is the Model Agencies a member of your country's National Association of Agencies?
  • There are organizations that you can contact which will check out the legitimacy of a business / opportunity
  • Ask a lot of questions – traffickers do not like it when victims ask too many questions
  • If the opportunity is overseas, contact the destination country’s embassy and ask if they know if the company exist

human trafficking job opportunity