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

“I would like to alert women out there to be careful and not accept promises which seem too good to be true.”

Human trafficking is the world’s fastest growing crime and anyone can be a trafficker, an expert has claimed.

Founder and director of Small Voice Human Trafficking Jacqueline Fourie told a panel during a workshop on human trafficking on Thursday that someone who looked decent, was well dressed, or smelled good could also be a trafficker.

The workshop was aimed at raising awareness about human trafficking as well as coming up with strategies to fight the epidemic in Pretoria.

The four-day workshop was held at the Tshwane Leadership Foundation in Burgerspark lane next to Burgerspark.

During her presentation chairperson of Tshwane Counter-Trafficking Coalition Karen Battison tipped attendees on the signs to look out for to recognise victims of human trafficking and how they could protect themselves and their loved ones from becoming a trafficking victim.

    “You need to be extra careful, people must alert the police when they suspect someone is a victim of human trafficking. Do not get involved,” she said.

One of the victims who wished to remain anonymous said she was glad she got out.

“The guy and I were in a relationship and I thought all was rosy until he started controlling me and forced me to do things. Before making me his sex slave he got me hooked on drugs,” she said.

She said when they first met he promised to open a salon for her and that he would make her successful.

    “I would like to alert women out there to be careful and not accept promises which seem too good to be true.”

Meanwhile, Fourie said some of the red flags that could help identify victims of human trafficking included bruises, scars, swelling and redness amongst other things.

Battison said it was vital for people to educate themselves and become aware.

“Read up on human trafficking prevention, you can also teach others to be safe. You can raise awareness at work, school and in your neighbourhood,” she said.

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Annelié Schroder and Lynn Falkenberg. Photo: Felicia Nkhwashu

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Photo: Felicia Nhwashu

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Photo: Felicia Nkhwashu

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Tshwane Counter-Trafficking Coalition Karen Battison. Photo: Felicia Nkhwashu

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