Many men, women and children are lured from rural areas to the bigger cities.
They are promised work or an education, however on arrival or en route, they are held captive, tortured, raped or sold.
This is a reality in South Africa and with Child Protection and Youth Month, members of Secunda Police visited local high schools this week and spoke to pupils about human trafficking.
Annalize Eastes from National Freedom Network told pupils more about human trafficking and how criminals operate.
“These criminals are buying and selling people and using them for exploitation,” said Annalize.
“They will put advertisements in the newspaper and say they are looking for faces for commercials on television or soccer players or they will pretend to be agents for celebrities like Mandoza.
“If you apply they will ask for your ID book or passport and if you wake up you are in a factory in Cape Town or in a brothel or a strip club somewhere overseas.
“They focus on vulnerable people, children in schools and people looking for jobs.
“After drugs, human trafficking is the second biggest organised crime.
“Children who get human trafficked are often children addicted to drugs who are looking for ways to get their drugs, or children who run away from home.”
Annalize urged children to be careful and to always tell their parents or guardians where they are going.
“Make sure your cell phone is charged and you have airtime so that you can make a phone call in case of emergency,” said Annalize.
“When going on a blind date, and this applies particularly to the girls, take a friend with you for safety.
“If you can, go for self-defence classes, just to learn the basics.”
W/O Oosie Oosthuizen then showed the pupils some self-defence moves and Annalize urged the pupils to read about human trafficking and showed three books available about people who were human trafficked.
These books are:
• Exit by Grizelda Grootboom who was 18 years-old when a trip to Johannesburg turned into a nightmare. She was trafficked to Yeoville and used as a sex slave.
• From Playground to Prostitute by Jaco Hough-Coetzee with Elani Kruger. Elani was kidnapped by her brother’s friend when she was 16 years-old. She was held captive and had to work as a sex slave and became caught up in a world of drugs and alcohol.
• Why not Today: Trafficking, Slavery, the Global Church and You by Matthew Cork and Kenneth Kemp.
Annalize said pupils must call the toll free number 0800 555 999 if they become aware of suspicious activities or suspect human trafficking is taking place.
Jacques Alberts, a Krav Maga instructor, will be giving self-defence classes on 25 June from 09:00 to 12:00 at the Hervormde Church on the corner of Rissik and Eric Louw Street.
Costs are R280 per person and there is limited space available.
Contact Jacques at 083 357 6378 or Marcel at 076 434 7750.
Protect your child with Track Me
Sector 3 Community Policing Forum (CPF) launched a new project where parents can purchase a safety and security device called Track Me to increase the safety of their children.
This device is easy to wear and easy to conceal and boasts a micro GPS tracking unit, a long life battery and a panic button.
The GPS tracking unit is linked remotely to a control room where emergency help can be accessed and provided.
This device allows its users to add up to 20 people per device where notifications can be sent in case of an emergency.
You as a parent can do live tracking and see exactly where your child is.
Costs are R150 per device and R150 per month regardless of how many devices per family.
For more information, contact Erick Verwey at 083 559 8366.