18 January 2013
The IFP commends the Departments of Social
Development and Women, Children and People with Disabilities for
assisting 25 children who were smuggled into South Africa over
the past 10 months. But how many trafficked children are not
found, rescued and assisted? The IFP believes we are looking at
the tip of the iceberg.
This week two Somali men were arrested at the
Swartkop border post for trying to smuggle a baby, 5 children
and a woman into South Africa from Botswana. Two of the children
were hidden in the boot of a car. The men were in possession of
an asylum seekers' permit, refugee documents and a South African
IFP Spokesperson on Women, Children and People
with Disabilities, Ms Liezl Van der Merwe MP, said, "We urge the
police to determine the identity of these children as quickly as
possible. There may be families frantically looking for their
children right now. A full investigation into how these children
came to be in this situation is also needed to ensure that they
do not go from a temporary place of safety back into a place of
vulnerability and danger."
The IFP notes that human trafficking in South
African remains a serious problem, which warrants intervention
on all fronts.
"South Africa is known as a source, transit
and destination country for trafficking. Yet, according to 2012
Trafficking in Persons Report compiled by the US State
Department, the South African Government is still failing to
meet the minimum standards in fighting human trafficking," said
van der Merwe.
She also noted that Government must bring
itself into line with the international norms and standards for
detection, prevention and intervention. Formal procedures must
be developed to rapidly identify trafficking victims and refer
them to appropriate care facilities.
"Provincial task teams and rapid response
teams - including representatives from law enforcement - must be
properly trained and resourced in order to combat this scourge.
A failure to do so will amount to a deliberate failure to
protect our women and children. In addition, the IFP calls on
Government to strengthen all ports of entry and to prioritize
the processing of human trafficking cases," said van der Merwe.
Ms Liezl van der Merwe MP,
Spokesperson on Women, Children and People with Disabilities,
082 729 2510.