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Sunday, October 10, 2010

The Human Trafficking Awareness Week

The Human Trafficking Awareness Week will be held nationally from the 3rd to the 9th October 2010 under the theme “Tsireledzani: Human Trafficking is real!” to raise awareness of the prevalence of cross-border and domestic trafficking affecting the lives of both South Africans and foreign nationals, thereby empowering them to protect themselves and each other.

Persons vulnerable to perpetrators of the crime, due to a multitude of life circumstances, have been trafficked for purposes of sexual exploitation, forced marriages, pornography, forced labour and the extraction of body organs.

To stem the tide of human trafficking as part of its Southern African Counter-Trafficking Assistance Programme (SACTAP), the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), conceptualised the campaign in 2006 and championed its implementation by various partners under the theme “Blow The Whistle: 0800 555 999”. Whistle-blowing was adopted as an effective means of assisting law enforcement to uncover this hidden crime and encourage the public to take appropriate steps to rescue victims and assist in the prosecution of traffickers through contacting the IOM tollfree number.

Through its Tsireledzani (TshiVenda for “protect”) counter-trafficking programme, the National Prosecution Authority (NPA) has led the coordination of activities aimed at increasing the understanding of the crime through research, multi-sectoral capacity-building, victim support and public awareness. It was with this background that the IOM handed-over the initiative to the South African government under the auspices of the Tsireledzani programme in 2009.

The public’s increased awareness of human trafficking will lay the ground for the successful application of the Prevention and Combatting of Trafficking in Persons Bill which was tabled in parliament by the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development in March 2010, once it is passed into law.

Objectives of the Campaign

* Raise the general public’s awareness levels on human trafficking
* Improve the ability of vulnerable groups to protect themselves from human trafficking
* Provide information on the Tsireledzani counter-trafficking programme
* Create a community spirit of assisting victims by preventing their continued exploitation by human traffickers
* Increase the understanding of the impact of human trafficking on victims amongst the facilitators of the crime

The campaign is implemented nationally by an inter-sectoral team of government, civil society and international organisations in the human trafficking sector. The key campaign partners to the NPA are the Department of Home Affairs (DHA), Border Control Operational Coordinating Committee (BCOCC), Commission on Gender Equality (CGE), Department of Basic Education (DBE), Department of Social Development and International Organisation for Migration (IOM).

Provincial support to the various planned activities in ports of entry, schools, community centres, through print and electronic media and faith based organisations will be provided through the established Tsireledzani Provincial Task Teams in Kwa-Zulu Natal, Limpopo, Mpumalanga and Western Cape and at local level by the Johannesburg Rapid Response Team.

The following publicity materials will be distributed during the campaign:
* Vehicle Licence Disc holder with SAPS and IOM toll-free helpline numbers, as well as website address, for annual vehicle licence renewals
* Pamphlets with introductory information on the definition of human trafficking, its forms and obtaining assistance
* Flyers with messages for truck drivers and taxi drivers
* Posters to encourage reporting through inclusion of key facts
* Industrial Theatre captured on DVD, including guidelines for adaptation to the needs of community groups
* Radio Drama script developed in English has been translated into IsiZulu, IsiXhosa, SeSotho, SePedi, TshiVenda, IsiNdebele, SiSwati, Xitsonga and SeTswana for airing in radio stations
* Storyboard aimed primarily at parents and caregivers will be published in community newspapers
* Awareness Raising and Learning Kit aimed at empowering in and out-of-school children between the ages of 15 to 17, Life Orientation educators and other learning facilitators in NGOs, community groups and faith based youth organisations to share their knowledge on countering human trafficking with peers and youth members



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