Social Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu has embarked on a campaign aimed at raising awareness on human trafficking, among road users and communities of Colesberg and Noupoort in the Northern Cape.
The areas of Kuruman, Kimberley and Colesberg have been identified as human trafficking hot spots with the latter being a transit which connects the Eastern Cape, Western Cape and Free State provinces.
As a result, young women and children are trafficked and transported into other provinces where on arrival are forced into prostitution and child labour, according to the department, while others are killed and used for “muti” purposes.
Due to the high prevalence of unemployment, especially in Colesberg and Noupoort communities, women and children are more vulnerable and exposed to human trafficking and sexual offences, the department says.
In the process, the constitutional rights of most women and children are compromised as a result of human trafficking.
The two-day campaign, which gets underway today, forms part of protecting women and children against human trafficking.
The event will be held under the theme “Qaphela! Do not be tricked by traffickers, human trafficking is a serious crime.”
It is conducted in partnership with key stakeholders, including the Departments of Health, Education, Home Affairs, Transport, Safety and Liaison, Commission on Gender Equality and Victim Empowerment Programme (VEP) volunteers.
“According to the 2020 Global Report on Trafficking in Persons, traffickers often prey upon the marginalised and impoverished persons. Most disturbing is that the report further highlights that in every ten victims detected globally, five of them are adult women and two are girls,” the department said ahead of Thursday’s campaign.
Meanwhile a fun walk will take place on the N1 Road in Colesberg on Thursday, followed by the main event to be held at KwaZamuxolo Community Hall in Noupoort on Friday.
The activities will be unfolding as part of Africa Month which is commemorated annually in May.
This year’s Africa Month is celebrated under the theme “The year of Arts, Culture and Heritage: in the year of Charlotte Maxeke.”