STOP Director speaks at Human Trafficking Week Pretoria, October 6 2013

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“Dear ladies and gentlemen, honoured guests.

Our Beloved South Africa, is a nation that God our Father has blessed with one of the greatest rescue acts of all time; the fact that we did not have a civil war leading up to independence in 1994. Countries like Cambodia were not so blessed and men came back – animals – raping 6 year-old children and throwing them into brothels.

Our Nation still has Christian values, family values, fathers who take ownership of their wives and children and of their nation. And now the Trafficking In Persons bill (TIP) is passed. Yes, well done government… Justice Portfolio Committee, well done! Parliament, well done! National Council of Provinces, well done! The NGO’s and people of South Africa, well done!

Many nations still do not have a TIP bill in place. The fines for trafficking human beings in South Africa were not nearly severe enough to stop traffickers in their crimes. And now, Wow! life imprisonment or a 100 Million Rand fine!! Beloved South Africans, this is the greatest crime against humanity. Our police and prosecutors are facing death threats daily and risking their lives for justice and the rescue and safe guarding of victims of Human trafficking. With the bill now passed we trust that many more arrests will be made and criminals prosecuted and sentenced . The legislation is complex and comprehensive and provides thoroughly for the rescue and protection of child and adult victims and the prosecution of traffickers.

The big challenge ahead for government now is the implementation and integration of this law into the different departments to make it effective on the ground. So DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT, HOME AFFAIRS, NATIONAL PROSECUTING AUTHORITY, HAWKS and all the other role-players, we as NGO’s and civil society support you and stand behind you and will give ourselves fully to assist you in this implementation.

The next/new/old challenge South Africa is facing , is the threat of having prostitution legalised in our country. The Mayor of Amsterdam was quoted saying:“While prostitution is legal in a nation, there is no way organised crime can be controlled and with that human trafficking. Prostitution is the cover blanket over crime and trafficking and it handcuffs police… can’t go into the brothels… it is legal!!”

South Africa by the grace of God did not legalise prostitution before Soccer World Cup 2010 – pressure was on from certain small groups. They tried, but you beloved South Africans sent so many submissions to the Law and Reform Commission, that they could only work through the data by 2011! Foreign football fans went home saying that this is a clean nation and that they would like to bring their families back for holidays. Germany sadly legalised prostitution before Soccer World Cup 2006 and they are now known as the biggest brothel in Europe ( Reuters Press).

South Africa will not become the biggest brothel in Africa, if you as South Africans stand up against this insanity… no little girl at the age of 5 skips around with butterfly wings saying she wants to be a prostitute one day and when a lady is on her back she has no guarantee that when she gets up from there ( if she does), that she will not be maimed, pregnant or have contracted AIDS. During a former African National Congress Women’s League Conference, it was stated that the women were shocked ( like when abortions were legalized), when the matter of decriminalization was discussed. The Xhosa language hasn’t even got a word describing prostitution in its vocabulary. So far removed is this from the traditions of our nation.

In closing, I would like to ask the Law and Reform Commission what happened to all the written submissions of the peoples of South Africa voting against decriminalization of prostitution in 2009? And, is this bill opening up again for the public to participate in before any further debate?

OUR SONS AND DAUGHTERS ARE NOT FOR SALE . I THANK YOU.”

Director Corinne Sandenbergh addressing Human Trafficking Week at Freedom park, Pretoria

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