There is currently no law which officially declares human trafficking illegal in South Africa. The result of this is that government and law enforcement cannot effectively counteract trafficking in our country. Trafficking as a criminal offence cannot be documented and no accurate statistics can be released regarding this crime. And what’s more, this gives room for many to claim that trafficking rarely happens! Our children and women are being enslaved and to a point our hands are tied and we cannot help them. We now have the opportunity to act. And guys, let’s not let the women fight this fight alone because they are mainly the victims, let us join them as the men of South Africa and take a stand for justice.
See below the arrangements as organised by Errol Naidoo, Family Policy Institute – South Africa:
We have received permission for the planned Anti-Trafficking Protest outside the main gates of Parliament in Plein Street, Cape Town on Wednesday 21 September between 10h00 – 14h00.
Mr Luwellyn Landers, the Chairperson of the Justice Portfolio Committee in Parliament has agreed to receive our Memorandum at the demonstration on Wednesday. The Anti-Trafficking Bill is currently stuck in the Justice Portfolio Committee and it is significant that the Chairperson will attend the demonstration.
Peter-John Pearson from the Catholic Parliamentary Liaison Office (just behind the large Catholic Church cnr Roeland & Plein Streets) agreed to let the ladies use the changing rooms and two other rooms in the office complex just opposite the gates of Parliament on Wednesday morning. We can all meet outside the Catholic Church on the corner of Roeland & Plein Streets on Wednesday morning at 09h00. Some of the ladies can change in the Catholic Church Office and some in my office if need be. I will organise the posters, chains and handcuffs we will use as props for the demonstration.
Besides the 40 ladies, we need at least 10 men to hold the posters. We will also need some people that can help with the make-up. The women must look battered and bruised. All the ladies have to arrange their own costumes – torn, tattered and soiled garments. I will write the Memorandum later this week and email to all for your approval. I will also draft a press statement for the media.
God bless Errol Naidoo
Contact Mr Naidoo for more information on how you can participate.
News on the Bill:
I know that many of you are interested in the progress of the proposed Bill, as it is going to make such a significant impact on our work, being able to identify by law the perpetrators and victims of Human Trafficking. We will be able to arrest and prosecute the perpetrators and more easily rescue and assist the victims.
At Parliament in Cape Town the Honourable Members of the Justice and Constitutional Development Parliamentary Committee, tasked with the Prevention and Combating of Trafficking in Persons Bill, are working their way through the Bill.
In one of the recent sessions it was highlighted that the “intention of the legislators must be to assist the NPA and AFU in bringing prosecutions more easily”.
By estimation the Committee has to date reviewed about 80% of the working draft of the bill, and they have been working through the list of ‘further information required’. Attached is the latest version of the Bill as well as the minutes from the most recent Deliberations.
Some departments have been proactive and are working purposefully towards making sure that the bill will contain the correct information and on how to implement the bill according to what will be expected of them. DSD for example have had workshops in every province, to develop standards and procedures for working with trafficked victims.
Unfortunately, other departments have only recently realized that they will have to act on the Bill when it is passed, such as Home Affairs who now want to have a say regarding temporary visas and asylum for victims. The Committee is awaiting their input.
Still it seems that there is much arguing and complaining about procedures, lack of good communication, and administration problems. It seems that all parties were not working from the same version of the bill for a period of time. If you believe in the power of prayer, these would be good things to pray about. God loves bringing order out of chaos and it seems like this is much needed.
There is still debate going on regarding the definition of trafficking. This definition is imperative and we hope that the NPA will stand by the definition that will enable the most effective capture and prosecution of all perpetrators for all kinds of trafficking.
The Justice and Constitutional Development Committee’s portfolio consists of a number of Bills. The most important one at the moment seems to be that of ‘State Liability’ and had a definite constitutional court deadline of 31 August. It seems that although the other Bills in the portfolio would progress, only the ‘State Liability’ one would be completed this year.
As it stands, the time that the committee has allocated to completing the Bill is becoming less and less as the other priorities take over, and the time that is available could be used more effectively. However it seems that a strong concerted effort could still see the Bill passed this year.