Women Aid Human Trafficking

January 17, 2018 Africa , HUMAN RIGHTS , Opinion , OPINION/NEWS


Jambiya Kai



The Role of Women in the Modern Day Slave Trade



What would the nature of your workshops be if you for one minute suspected female traffickers were amongst your participants, brothel owners looking for fresh meat and wanting to know your MO?

Male traffickers do so as a job – why is it we think all female traffickers do so with a gun to their heads? If we know differently, then why are these facts not part of our campaigns?

If female perpetrators are amongst our social circles why are we not addressing these matters more harshly with women in our workshops and speaking to the potential traffickers who attend our workshops?


Human trafficking does not only happen across provinces and borders but in our homes, under our noses. On our farms; in our restaurants, supermarkets, harbours and fishing trade. Through families and family friends – brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers, husbands – a teen’s best friend; boyfriend.

The slave trade is the third highest crime in the world – with counterfeiting second and the illegal trade and manufacture of drugs as king.

The two highest forms of trafficking are sexual exploitation (79%) and forced labour (18%).

I find it questionable that in researching global activity reports on statistics and political intervention that even though a spotlight has been turned on South Africa and the increase of trafficking and insufficient prosecution – South African NGOs or campaigns seldom get involved in or cover the international slave trade. Yet it is our African neighbours who are brought into our country for sexual slavery and forced labour (which includes domestic servitude) – the “help” who is the master’s sex slave after working 12 hours each day without pay, only food (if morsels be food) and a room; no social interaction – too afraid of deportation so lives without hope.

Our police services do not even bat an eye when suspicion is reported. Maids are maids and the garden boy exactly that…an exploited boy.


The Libyan matter comes to mind.

We shared information but didn’t really shift our focus, even for a moment. How aware are we really that much of the domestic crimes against our children have international roots – if drug cartels are king, go figure. We therefore cannot fight one without getting our hands dirty in the others in our in efforts to uproot the core issues.

A woman was torched – the root – drugs. Was she trafficked…possibly. Her family testified to her activities. Trafficking is under our noses, in the very homes where kids are raped and murdered. It is all about drugs and money.


Libya is at the top of global concerns right now – we overlook it because we believe home must be served first and of course this is correct. Yet what Libya is doing is happening right under our noses. It’s domestic. Slave labour is right here with us.

The Mpumalanga tycoon was responsible for the forced labour and sexual exploitation of migrants. It is likely that products we purchase are produced through forced labour. Manufacturers are under the “legal workers” radar. We must make a global noise that South Africa is aware of global activity and are compassionate of victims across the world. When I say South Africa, I’m talking about us. Africa must rise and start to hold her children closer than close.

We are being shamefully reminded that in our fight against trafficking and abuse that in many, if not most cases, women are the chief engineers – while we fight for them – we fail largely to hold female offenders responsible for their part.


According to the UNODC (United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime) Report, the most common form of human trafficking (79%) is sexual exploitation. The victims of sexual exploitation are predominantly women and girls. (Please note that men are sexually exploited as well).

Surprisingly, in 30% of the countries which provided information on the gender of traffickers, women make up the largest proportion of traffickers. In some parts of the world, women trafficking women is the norm. And these traffickers are not always victims of trafficking but partner to maintain their habits – drugs;  a crime that is prevalent in our neighbourhoods.

Poverty contributes to a grandmother holding down her granddaughter to be raped – she gets paid.


Worldwide, almost 20% of all trafficking victims are children. However, in some parts of Africa and the Mekong region, children are the majority (up to 100% in parts of West Africa).




It’s interesting to note that in most reports that governmental intervention and intelligence is sadly lacking; corruption a stronghold that depletes budgets for trafficking and its crime related relatives. When SAPS officials notify traffickers and cartels of a raid we know we are in a lot of trouble as a society.


Global Reports have a phrase in relation to South Africa’s areas that lack in bringing perpetrators to book – it sticks with me when I look at how much NGOs and community organisations are struggling in the various missions….

“NO GOVERNMENTAL WILL”.  The saddest phrase.

Women can make or break societies – they simply have to start in the home.


While we campaign against social crimes against women and children let us not forget the power of women who work against us for their own interests.

Let us not forget slave labour and its victims

Let us never give up on fighting the men who dare attempt to annihilate God’s gift in womanhood.

We must go to the global kingpins of this crime; kick down the doors of mammon; crush the ability of supply and demand in order to bring our domestic violence to its knees.

Who are the heads of our trafficking operations?

We must raise our voices and placards in an attempt to stimulate the will of politicians and government to pour resources and budgets into organisations that can be the difference between life and death for our women and children and the victims of forced labour.


If the love of money be the root of all evil then we must ensure we find the route of the evil and attack what it loves the most.



The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime’s 2012 Global Report on Trafficking in Persons states that between 2010 and March 2011, South Africa’s National Prosecuting Authority reported that 235 adults and 13 children were victims of human trafficking. Of those victims, 132 were trafficked for the purposes of sexual exploitation and 106 for use as forced labour. In ten cases the purpose of the trafficking was listed as “unknown”.





Jambiya Kai

Jambiya is an emotive South African writer; poet and storyteller who weaves the tragedy and victory of the human experience into a tapestry of memorable imagery and metaphor. She writes with honesty on the spiritual and social challenges of our time.

Jambiya’s works are a feast to those accustomed to the jaded perfunctory cleverness of modern wordsmiths.

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