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2023/07/31      |  Written By:  Lieutenant Colonel Z Mohobeleli   |   Province:  Free State

FREE STATE: Trafficking in persons is a form of exploitation where the victim is recruited through deception or force. They are moved from one place to the other where the exploitation will take place. 

Free State Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (Hawks) will observe 'World Day Against Trafficking in Persons' at St Peter's Anglican Church in Zamdela on Sunday, 30 July 2023. 

The Provincial Head, Major General Mokgadi Bokaba and members of the Hawks' Serious Organised Crime Investigation units from Bloemfontein and Welkom will honour the church's invitation to attend a service at 10:00.

The Hawks management and members will be granted an opportunity to address the congregation on matters pertaining to trafficking in persons. In accordance with their line of work, they will educate members of the community about how this phenomenon takes place and the role they can play to report such incidents.

Human trafficking not only occurs between countries. It can be found within communities where traffickers offer disguised opportunities for employment before luring their victims into a life of slavery, dependency on drugs, drug trafficking, child labour, and sex work.

"Residents should be the first line of defence when they see strange behaviour towards an enslaved domestic worker or a pimp or madam who organises multiple sex partners for their victim. They must shout for help when they witness exploitation," pleads Maj Gen Bokaba. She would also like to warn parents to monitor their children's use of the internet. "Traffickers sometimes use social media to attract victims, including children, into exploitation. They make promises of niceties and offer a life of money. Always double check what you are being offered on social media," she warns.