The origins of World Day against Trafficking in Persons
The call for global action against human trafficking came from the United Nations, nine years ago.
The General Assembly adopted the Global Plan of Action to Combat Trafficking in Persons as a measure to ensure that governments, worldwide, were taking “coordinated and consistent measures to defeat this scourge.”
“The Plan calls for integrating the fight against human trafficking into the UN’s broader programmes in order to boost development and strengthen security worldwide.
“One of the crucial provisions in the Plan is the establishment of a UN Voluntary Trust Fund for victims of human trafficking, especially women and children.” – The United Nations, World Day against Trafficking in Persons.
The growth of the plan culminated in the adoption of 2015’s 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda, an objective that calls for “an end to human trafficking and violence against children; as well as the need for measures against human trafficking, and they strive for the elimination of all forms of violence against and exploitation of women and girls.”
How to spot a human trafficking victim
In the past week, the Western Cape’s Minister of Community Safety, Albert Fritz, in collaboration with the A21 Campaign, embarked on a media run, spreading awareness about the signs exhibited by most human trafficking victims.
“Targets of human trafficking are typically persons who are the most vulnerable in our society. They may be lured in through false job advertisements, sold by family, seduction, abducted, trafficked by a ‘friend’ or through false immigration,” Fritz said.
According to the Ministry of Community Safety, victims of human trafficking can be identified as they:
- Are controlled by another person and are not free to come and go as they wish;
- Are unpaid paid very little or only paid through tips;
- Exhibit poor mental and physical health including substance abuse, signs of physical abuse or malnourishment;
- Avoid eye contact;
- Have few or no personal possessions;
- Are not permitted to speak for themselves (a third party may insist on being present and/or translating); and
- Have a limited ability to speak the local language and have little knowledge of their whereabouts.
Fritz called on people to practice more vigilance when applying for jobs or pursuing opportunities that are too good to be true. He warned that it is a methods used to lure victims into human trafficking.
“If you’ve received a work offer that seems ‘too good to be true’, particularly if it is in a city or country that you are unfamiliar with, it may be in your interest to validate this job offer. This can be done by contacting the Department of Labour,” Fritz said.