Child trafficking is a real phenomenon in our midst today. It isn’t something that happens in the Eastern Block countries or Asia. It is happening in South Africa.
Child Trafficking is happening in South Africa.
Awareness is one of the most effective ways to prevent human trafficking.
My mom told me, as a child to keep my private parts, private. I knew not to allow anyone, including my father or uncle, to touch me in inappropriate ways. I knew there were evil people ‘out there‘ that would steal me and do horrible things to me if I weren’t careful.
But let’s be honest, in today’s day and age, we can’t be vague and ignorant any longer!
It is our responsibility as parents to equip ourselves. We need to know the warning signs, we need to be diligent in our pursuit of information and transfer what we know to our kids. We need to equip ourselves and learn how to use the tools available to us to educate our kids about human trafficking.
Child Trafficking Statistics
- In 2013 The Times published an article titled “30 000 kids trafficked in SA”. The article claimed that 50 percent of those 30 000, were under the age of 14. – Source
- The average age of a trafficked child is between 11 and 14 years old. The average lifespan of a sex-slave is 3 to 7 years. The implication is that kids sold into slavery could be dead at 14 years old. The cause of death? Death is often due to, violence, sexually transmitted diseases, drug overdoses, or suicide. – Source
- We assume that rural or poor communities are more at risk to have their kids trafficked. This is a lie! We are all susceptible and vulnerable in one way or another. Self-esteem plays a vital role, having friends and family who really cares for us, open communication and a strong identity, all plays major roles in protecting our children and loved ones.
How do you Teach your Child?
Have you had the birds and the bees conversation with your kids? Talking about sexual exploitation and child trafficking is a natural overflow from that conversation. Especially when your child is a little older.
If your child is 9 and older they really need to know what sex is and that there are evil people out that that will exploit their innocence.
I really battled to have the talk with Logan. What counted in my favour was, when I had the initial chat with him, it opened up doors for open communication. At a later stage he asked me what condoms were. That gave me the opportunity to talk about HIV and Aids. In every conversation, I had the opportunity to
In every conversation, I had the opportunity to reiterate:
(1.) Sex is healthy for a husband and wife in a committed relationship and
(2.) Sexual Exploitation and human/child trafficking is real in Pretoria. It happens in our city, in neighbouring suburbs.
The anti-human trafficking course I did in last year and helped facilitated in last month offers two really good programmes. The first aimed at kids age 11 and up and the second for really young children.
Traffick Proof hopes to educate children about human trafficking. The programme uses examples and terminology that children from the age of 11/12 will understand. Here are the basics of the course:
Human trafficking happens when a person is (1.) Tricked, (2.) Transported, (3.) Trapped and (4.) Used.
Often loverboys are used to trick female victim. They seduce the young woman or girl, win their trust by entering into a romantic relationship and gradually make them dependent. The loverboy or pimp will force them to work as prostitutes, transport drugs or steal.
- Loverboys are the number one way girls are trafficking in South Africa.
- Employment opportunities are second to loverboys. This is when a person offers you an employment opportunity that seems too good to be true.
- A blesser as per the black community could potentially fall into the same category.
From the above, it is clear that the seduction and wooing of the loverboy leaves a victim dependent on the perpetrator. She either chooses to go with the pimp by choice or is forced by means of physical violence to go with him.
Once she is transported she will be taken to a break room.
The breaking house is a room or house where victims are broken – physically, spiritually and emotionally broken. Physical violence, including rape, beatings, and physical confinement, is often employed as a means to control victims, especially during the early stages of victimization. The victim is given drugs as a means to become an addict and enslave the person even further.
The purpose of the break house is to breaks down the victim’s resistance.
The victims are forced to work when they lose all resistance.
Victims of trafficking are often subjected to debt bondage. This is when a trafficker demands labour as a mean to repayment real or alleged debt. The victim has no means to repay their debt. They consistently need drugs to cope, and the outstanding fees are always more than they are capable of repaying.
Did you know: A victim is often forced to call his/her pimp Daddy? Find more trafficking terms by clicking here.
Traffick Proof, gives kids all the hard facts mentioned above, in a safe environment. The group is educated and counselling is generally available afterwards, for any girls who have experienced anything that closely resembles exploitation.
Traffick Proof teaches the reality of human trafficking, along with ways for kids to protect themselves.
The Born2Fly Project works to stop child trafficking by reaching kids before the traffickers do – with a free anti-trafficking curriculum available in 10 languages. The 6-week curriculum includes topics such as choices have consequences, knowing your true friends, understanding your self-worth and value and working hard and being patient.
A wordless book called, Born to Fly forms the basis of the Born2Fly curriculum. The kids are introduced to Blossom, a caterpillar and follows her as she makes the wrong decision to go beyond the village gates.
The next Traffick Wise Seminar will be held in Pretoria in September. Follow Traffick Wise on Facebook, to find out about seminars. For seminars and courses in the rest of the country, follow The National Freedom Network on Facebook.
Register for the annual A21 Walk for Freedom at A21.org/walk
When did you have the birds and bees conversation with your kids? Did you explain the implications of molestation, sexual exploitation and victimisation?
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