Human trafficking is a thriving illicit industry that has people across the world fearing for their lives.
Polokwane Observer spoke to Hiadee von Well, civil organisation STOP Limpopo presenter, who explained that the scourge of human trafficking is not necessarily something new, it has been happening for a long time and there is just more awareness in recent years. “Awareness is also increasing due to perpetrators becoming greedier and finding new ways of tricking and trapping their victims. They target the unsuspecting and the vulnerable,” she said.
Anyone can be a target if they are not aware of the dangers, Von Well said and emphasised the importance of keeping eyes and ears open at all times. The target market for human trafficking differs vastly from young people to grown ups, the reasons being slavery, prostitution and body parts harvesting. She added that STOP prefers to focus on prevention because the success rate of being rescued is not high. “The problem is that when someone disappears, things tend to happen very fast because these cases are often part of a very organised group. If a community is vigilant and awake a kidnapped person may be rescued,” she said.
Story: Miranda Chauke