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Friday, 27th February 2015 I For immediate release
The Salvation Army has welcomed this year’s focus on World Day of Social Justice on ending human trafficking and forced labour, and has urged South Africans to make a renewed effort to bring to light instances of people, particularly women and children, being held against their will in acts of trafficking.
Commenting on the 2015 day of observation (20 February 2015), The Salvation Army said that complacency with respect to human trafficking can easily set in, and it is important to keep raising awareness of this scourge in our society.
Major Carin Holmes, PR Secretary of The Salvation Army Southern Africa Territory, says: “In our work as The Salvation Army, we are frequently contacted through our toll-free hotline – 08000 73728 – about women and children disappearing from their homes, many of whom are suspected of being abducted into human trafficking.
“Any tips that we receive from our hotline are passed on to the SAPS, who are asked to follow up. Our hotline is seen by many as a ‘safe’ way of passing on information about possible human trafficking going on in their communities,” she added.
According to the International Labour Organisation, there are 21 million people in the world who are victims of forced labour, of whom 4.5 million are victims of forced sexual exploitation.
Major Holmes said the following were useful guidelines from World Hope South Africa for people wanting to prevent human trafficking in their communities:
- Tell your friends and neighbours how to protect themselves from being trafficked.
- Learn to recognise trafficked persons:
They are often unable to speak the local language.
They appear to be trapped in their job or the place they stay.
They may have bruises and other signs of physical abuse.
They do not have identification documents (passport, ID, refugee or asylum papers).
- Report places where you suspect trafficked people are kept (for example, brothels,farms, factories, shebeens) to the local authorities and the media.
- Report people you suspect may be traffickers to the local authorities (police, NGOs) and the media.
The Southern Africa Territory of The Salvation Army encompasses four countries – South Africa, Namibia, Lesotho and Swaziland – and the island of St Helena. Its officers, soldiers and full-time employees provide their spiritual and community services through approximately 230 corps (churches), societies and outposts, as well as through schools, hospitals, institutions for children, street children, the elderly, men and abused women, and daycare, goodwill, rehabilitation and social centres.
ISSUED BY QUO VADIS COMMUNICATIONS ON BEHALF OF THE SALVATION ARMY
Media Contact: Ruth Coggin
Click here to e-mail Ruth
Client Contact: Major Carin Holmes
Public Relations Secretary
Click here to e-mail Carin