Human trafficking is a global crime affecting countless victims around the world. Yet its actual scope remains a mystery.In South Africa, claims by anti-trafficking campaigners and NGOs include that 30,000 children are trafficked into the country annually as part of the sex trade.
Human trafficking has become a focus of attention in the country following the introduction of the onerous and controversial visa requirements. In addition, a new act aimed at preventing trafficking is expected to be operational in the next few weeks. It defines trafficking to include the recruitment, transportation, sale or harbour of people by means of force, deceit, the abuse of vulnerability and the abuse of power for exploitation.
Trafficking in persons is a serious crime and a grave violation of human rights. Every year, thousands of men, women and children fall into the hands of traffickers, in their own countries and abroad. Almost every country in the world is affected by trafficking
Instead of trying to quantify the problem in terms of the number of human trafficking victims, the question we should be asking is: which communities are most vulnerable to human trafficking?
This would open the door to finding connections between measurable quantities on the one hand and qualities which cannot be counted but should be mapped on the other. Such a connection is crucial to understand the configuration of relationships in which the problem of human trafficking is rooted.