THE influx of refugees into South Africa has increased human trafficking cases in Limpopo, Stop Trafficking of People said on Monday(yesterday) with the SA police saying that Limpopo had become a human trafficking hot spot.
“Apparently there is a syndicate that we are following information on, ” say deputy provincial commissioner General Nonhlahla Zulu, adding that a special task team has been established to deal with human trafficking cases in the province.
Since January, at least 251 human trafficking victims have been rescued in Limpopo in the hands of trafficking syndicates.
Police said the victims were from Malawi, Ethiopia, Zimbabwe, and other countries in Middle East lured to the country with charming promise but then would be forced into prostitution.
“While the traffickers threatened them with death, so we have to find out the signs and know how to identify them,” says Stop Trafficking of People director Corinne Sandenbergh, at a joint media briefing in Seshego.
“Human trafficking is a complicated and complex crime, it’s not a body lying dead or mutilated woman, it is a lady walking through the border and saying she is a refugee,” says Sandenberg .
The organisation called on authorities to be wiser and urged law enforcement agencies to step up their tactics in spotting human trafficking victims.
She said since anti-human trafficking legislation was enhanced last year, and that the human trafficking culprits have been exposed.
The organisation also appealed to government to safeguard human trafficking victims after the trial.
Sandernbergh said the organisation also suggested that human trafficking victims should not be repatriated back to their country of their origin too soon.
“We need to keep the victims in place of safety, so that a proper case can be established and have the traffickers imprisoned.” – ANA edited by Patience Rusere