IOM Welcomes Adoption of the Prevention and Combating of Trafficking in Persons Bill in South Africa
IOM South Africa has welcomed adoption of the long-awaited Prevention and Combating of Trafficking in Persons Bill by South Africa's Parliament’s justice committee.
In the past South Africa used existing laws to prosecute perpetrators, however, the gap still lies in measures to prevent and combat trafficking, as well as protection and assistance of trafficking victims. The Prevention and Combating of Human Trafficking Bill provides a legal framework that contains measures that prevent trafficking and protect and assist trafficking victims.
IOM South Africa contributed to the human trafficking legislative process and drafting of the bill through consultation with policy drafters and Law Reform Commissions of South Africa.
“IOM believes the adoption of the bill is a step in the right direction to combat human trafficking in South Africa and bring justice to trafficked persons. We remain committed to fight against exploitation of migrants in all its forms, especially the severe human rights violations suffered by trafficked persons”, says Dr. Erick Ventura, Acting Chief of Mission at IOM South Africa.
Due to its hidden nature, substantiating trafficking in terms of statistics is difficult. There is, however, evidence that this crime is being committed in South Africa. IOM has been able to undertake extensive research, which enables training and the capacity building of key stakeholders on how to respond to human trafficking.
Victims of trafficking experience immense trauma throughout the trafficking process. According to the United Nations Principles and Guidelines on Human Rights and Human Trafficking, Victims of trafficking should be protected from further exploitation and harm and should be given access to adequate physical and psychological care.
IOM provided training for law enforcement officials, Justice and Constitutional Development (including the National Prosecuting Authority and the Lower Courts Magistrates) and social workers to adequately respond to cases of trafficking in persons.
IOM continues to strengthen the capacities of our partners in government and civil society and set operational standards to achieve sustainable results that will provide protection and empower trafficked women, men, girls and boys and raise awareness and understanding of this issue.