Sipho Masombuka | 22 February, 2015 23:59
The International Organisation on Migration has called for the establishment of a special unit to focus on human trafficking to counter smarter syndicates.
Police say human trafficking is the second-most lucrative illicit trade after drug dealing, and is estimated to be worth $32-billion (R372-billion), with 12.3million adults and children forced into labour and prostitution globally.
About 800000 people are trafficked across national borders, 79% for sexual exploitation and 18% for forced labour. About 20% of the victims are children.
A researcher for the organisation, Resh Mehta, said in Pretoria that human trafficking was not given the priority it deserved.
“Drug trafficking has a specialised unit focusing on it, so why not human trafficking?
“Human trafficking is a complex crime. It does not happen here and now but over a long time. There are a number of agents involved, not just one or two people.”
The Department of Social Development’s deputy director-general, Connie Nxumalo, said human trafficking needed specialist intervention.
“We need to have a specialised unit that deals with fighting human trafficking,” Nxumalo said.