Warning Young Internet Users About the Dangers of Human Trafficking

By | 1 December 2009

In support of the 19-year long global campaign 16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence, IOM has released an animated video to educate young internet users about the dangers of human trafficking in South Africa.

Victims of human trafficking are among the most vulnerable to violent abuse as they are usually recruited by deception or force, transported to an unfamiliar location, and exploited through forced labour or sexual slavery. A protracted process, human trafficking exposes victims to repeated mental and physical abuse and violence requiring greater protection and rehabilitation services than they usually get.

“Children make up a fifth of the number of victims of trafficking assisted by IOM in Southern Africa, so it is important for young people to be aware of the dangers of human trafficking,” says Mariam Khokhar, programme manager for IOM’s Southern African Counter-Trafficking Assistance Programme (SACTAP). “Traffickers sometimes use the internet as a tool for recruitment. It is for this reason that the animation targets young internet users with a story that not only educates them about human trafficking, but also teaches them how to avoid traffickers,” she adds.

The animation recounts the story of a group of young children who meet a trafficker on their way to school. They have to decide whether to follow him when he promises them a better life. In class they are taught about internal and cross-border trafficking using case studies, and this knowledge helps them to avoid becoming victims of trafficking. The cases used in the animation are based on true stories from interviews conducted by IOM while assisting actual victims in South Africa, which is a source, transit and destination country for human trafficking.

Produced by IOM, the animation is available on IOM’s website (www.iom.org.za) for free viewing, download and dissemination. Copies can also be requested for free dissemination or broadcast by contacting IOM through the website.

IOM’s SACTAP, currently funded by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the European Commission and the US Department of State’s Bureau for Population, Refugees and Migration (PRM), offers direct and comprehensive assistance to victims of human trafficking. It also carries out research and mass information campaigns in addition to enhancing both public and law enforcement capacity to respond to the phenomenon.

The 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence is an international campaign originating from the first Women’s Global Leadership Institute sponsored by the Center for Women’s Global Leadership in 1991. In South Africa, the campaign covers violence against women and children.

For more information, please contact Nde Ndifonka on tel: +27 12 342 2789 or email: nndifonka@iom.int

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