January 25, 2017
The South African report on Trafficking in Persons – October 2016 – December 2016
1. On the 7th of October, the NICTIP (National Inter- Sectoral Committee for Trafficking In Persons) met on the progress made on the draft National Policy Framework on Combating of Trafficking in Persons. Mercy House was nominated by the National Department of Social Development to be on this committee, representing all the shelters. This workshop was organized by the Department of Justice. There was also a report on the development on drafting of the outstanding regulations by the Department of Home Affairs. It will be tabled in parliament early in February.
2. On the same day, there was a round table discussion called by the UNODC. This was held at the US Embassy. Present were the ambassadors of the Southern African Development Community (SADAC - Angola, Botswana, Democratic Republic of Congo, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe), members of the Organized Crime Unit of the South African Police Services and Mercy House. Those present were looking at ways of cooperating in the fight against trafficking in persons within the SADAC region. Mercy House had been invited to say how the embassies could help the TIP from the SADAC countries.
3. Mercy House was asked to organise a TIP awareness campaign for Pretoria. This was held on Thursday 13 October. The departments involved the planning for this campaign wee: the Department of Social Development, the Department of Justice, the South African Police Department, the Municipality of Pretoria, the National Prosecuting Authority, the Department of Home Affairs, UNODC and the International Organisation for Migration. There was a march through the western suburbs of Pretoria (a red light district) and all the marchers gathered in a local park where the different departments explained their roles in combating trafficking in persons. The drama students of the University of Technology, members of a local men’s forum and an amateur drama society (Blank Page) each staged a play showing different aspects of TIP. This event was the first to involve so many different government department, international organisations and NGOs.
4. The staff of Mercy House serves on the Gauteng Province TIP Rapid Response Team and the TIP Task Team. The Rapid Response Team deals with the rescue and protection of TIP survivors and the prosecution of the traffickers. The Task Team deals with awareness-raising, campaigns and research. The Task Team arranged training on mental health for all officials dealing with TIP survivors
5. During the reporting period, Mercy House has sheltered 11 victims of TIP – 4 South Africans, 1 Zimbabwean, 6 Thais.
Plans for 2017
1. The Counter Trafficking in Persons Office (CTIP) of the Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference will hold a campaign in honour of St Bakita on 9th February the Pretoria CBD. This will be an awareness-raising venture and will include churches, NGOs, schools and local authorities.
2. CTIP will continue its programme for training of border officials, transport personnel and church personnel.
3. Mercy House, with the Municipality of Pretoria, will organise the annual march against TIP. This will be in July for the UN World Day Against TIP. The gathering place will be at the Union Buildings, the seat of S. A. Government.
4. Work will be done to complete and launch the National Policy Framework on Combating of Trafficking in Persons.
5. In Gauteng Province the Department of Social Development plans to accredit 5 more shelters for TIP survivors.
6. NGOs will continue the awareness campaigns at schools, churches, hospitals and railway stations.
Messages to: Colleen Wilkinson rsm