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Initiative to fight human trafficking to be launched

TRAFFICKING IN HUMAN BEINGS, ESPECIALLY WOMEN AND CHILDREN, IN AFRICA - Countries of destination according to number of reported countries of origin.
Women and children from more than 10 African countries are being smuggled into South Africa. Click on the map for details. (UNICEF)

An initiative to build collaboration between government and NGOs to fight human trafficking will be launched at a conference in South Africa next week, according to the activist body, War Against Trafficking Alliance.

The three-day conference, "The Next Steps to Path Breaking Strategies in the Global Fight Against Sex Trafficking, is sponsored by a global coalition of NGOs and the South African National Prosecuting Authority.

The Johannesburg conference beginning on 22 June will help put together a newly constituted national task team's agenda on combating human trafficking and is the fifth follow-up of a world summit held in Washington last year.

South Africa is a country of origin, destination and transit for victims, who are trafficked primarily for purposes of prostitution and forced labour. Refugees from neighbouring African countries, children from Lesotho, women and girls from Mozambique, Malawi, Kenya, Zambia, Nigeria, Senegal, Taiwan, Russia, Thailand, Latvia and Romania are all trafficked into South Africa.

After drugs and weapons, trafficking in human beings is South Africa's third most lucrative crime, according to the NGO, Molo Songololo, a child rights advocacy group. Women and children from South Africa also make their way to Canada, the United Kingdom and the European Union.

The global coalition will also release video footage documenting sex tourism in South Africa. "Leaders in the anti-trafficking movement must strive for balance in their efforts to provide long-term service provision and successful prosecution, conviction and sentencing for those who prey on the vulnerable," said founder of the coalition, Linda Smith. "I believe this video will shock participants and sustain the good efforts being made to put these predators behind bars."

This article was produced by IRIN News while it was part of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Please send queries on copyright or liability to the UN. For more information: https://shop.un.org/rights-permissions

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