How to protect yourself from human trafficking this festive season
1 November 2018 FAMILY
By Zuko Komisa
There is nothing as heartbreaking as looking for a loved one that has mysteriously disappeared from the face of the earth. You post their picture of social media, constantly make visits to police stations and mortuaries to identify corpses. Human trafficking continues to terrorise families across the country.
What happens when you are trafficked?
Depending on the age those held captive are used as domestic servants, child soldiers, in prostitution, get into forced marriages and are also captured for their body parts. It’s estimated that over R1.9 trillion is illegally profited globally form human trafficking annually.
Understanding Human Trafficking
In most instances, victims of human trafficking are caught off guard, they have illegally transported away from their homes to an unknown location where they are forced into working for their captures in most instance also being used as sex slaves. People of all ages get deceived, captured and exploited.
How do you protect yourself from being a victim?
Every year, criminals are getting smarter and more cunning. You need to raise your awareness in order to protect yourself from potential danger. The reality is you could get snatched anywhere so the following will help you avoid it.
- Everywhere you go, spend a moment getting familiar with your surroundings.
- Try at all cost not to walk alone, kidnappings happen more frequently to women walking alone.
- Trust your gut, when you get suspicious. Act on it.
- Be a good person, but don’t be gullible and trusting of strangers.
- Memorise important numbers. Know dialing codes.
- When you witness a suspicious car, report it. All the right descriptions matter. Know the vehicle’s registration, number of occupants, colour and make.
Few ways to protect your children from being deceived?
- Teach them the difference between real love and cheap gifts early, build their confidence.
- Ensure that they are always with people you trust.
- Talk to them about strangers and not accepting things from them.
Don’t forget to Report human trafficking or suspected human trafficking anonymously on this specialised helpline – 0800 222 777.