Child welfare gains vital knowledge from human trafficking training

CHILD Welfare Kempton Park officials during the A21 training.

FOLLOWING their march against child abuse recently, Child Welfare Kempton Park officials attended the A21 training on human trafficking on June 9.

A21, which stands for abolishing slavery in the 21st century, is a non-profit organisation with the goal of ending modern-day slavery.

The group hosted a one-day seminar in Glen Marais to educate the Kempton community on the scourge of this global crime.

Child Welfare Kempton Park’s director, Makha Thusi, said the seminar helped the organisation in a myriad ways, including being made aware of the magnitude of the problem not only in Kempton, but worldwide as well.

“The training exposed us to valuable information, including truly understanding the definition of human trafficking as modern slavery/the buying or selling of people for monetary gain/the recruitment, transportation or transfer of people by means of force, for monetary gain.”

Other important facts learned by the organisation:

• The syndicates that are involved in the business of human trafficking

• The importance of joining other networks so that we can enhance the forums that are working on combating this crime and bringing the perpetrators to book

• Purpose of human trafficking; elements of human trafficking; who are the victims, how people become victims and reasons why they do not escape

• How victims fall into the trap eg promised jobs; desperation for money to further their careers; forced to work long hours sometimes selling drugs and beaten up if they don’t have sufficient clients

• Victims moved around from time to time so that they cannot be traced

• Children as victims and why they are targeted

• The importance of reporting the incidents of human trafficking and providing crucial tips when reporting to the national trafficking resource line: 0800 222 777

As a result of this, Thusi said the welfare would organise internal staff training to educate them on human trafficking and how the perpetrators of the crime operate, especially when it comes to child victims.

“Child Welfare Kempton Park is planning to organise training of staff on South African legislation pertaining to human trafficking and the importance of knowing the applicable legislation, because from time to time social workers do deal with human trafficking cases.”

The welfare was also introduced to the ‘Victim Centred Approach’ and how to connect victims to available support services.

“All in all the training was an eye-opener and such sessions should be organised from time to time. What was important was the fact that no single person can combat the scourge of human trafficking that is currently plaguing our country and city. Child welfare is prepared to stand up and be counted with those who are saying enough is enough, let’s protect our children, who are the future of our country’s development.”

A21 was started nine years ago in Greece. It has since grown into 12 branches in 11 countries, including South Africa.

The organisation also recently started a helpline people can call during emergencies. The number is: 0800 222 777.

Nolwazi Dhlamini
Senior Journalist

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