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Report from South Africa on Trafficking in Persons

May 28, 2018

 So far this year, Mercy House Pretoria has admitted 8 new survivors of Trafficking in Persons – one from Lesotho, one from Thailand and the rest are South Africans.

Two ladies who were placed in Mercy House in 2016, one South African and one from Zimbabwe, were at last allowed to return home. They were witnesses in their traffickers court case which was held last year. In February he was found guilty of the charges of trafficking and he will be sentenced in June.

Two of the other victims are waiting to bear witness at the trials of their perpetrators later this year.

The social worker at Mercy House shelter is on the National Inter-sectorial Committee for Trafficking in Persons. This committee is responsible for seeing that there is compliance to The Prevention and Combating of Trafficking in Persons Act and its regulations by all of the stakeholders.

On the 27th and 28th March this year, there was a Trafficking in Persons Coordination Workshop for the Dept of Justice, Constitutional Development, Dept of Social Development, the South African Police Services, the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation, the National Prosecuting Authority, Dept of Home Affairs, Dept of Labour, South African Revenue Services, Department of International Relations and Cooperation, IOM, UNODC, US Embassy – and Mercy House. The social worker from Mercy House is able to give information into workshops such as these because we work with the victims and the other stakeholders. We can speak for the victims, see the gaps, witness to non-cooperation and non-compliance.

The awareness campaigns in schools continue and Mercy House will help coordinate a regional awareness campaign with the other stakeholders. This will take place in October to coincide with Human Trafficking Week.