Human Trafficking in South Africa: Political Conundrums and Consequences
AffiliationUniversity of Chester; University of KwaZulu-Natal
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AbstractHuman trafficking remains a seemingly unsolvable problem despite over a decade of concerted international, regional and, increasingly, domestic attention. Little inroads have been made, especially in attempting to address its most prominent manifestation – human trafficking for the purposes of sexual exploitation. Most government resources, in states from which victims are trafficked and in those in which they are received, have focused upon attempting to end this form of human trafficking. This has been done in two ways: either through draconian measures that focus on the security of the state (and curbing migration), or by attempting to eradicate the sex industry through criminalisation of consumers, and the continued criminalisation of sex workers. Such strategies have had little measurable effect on the supply or demand of those trafficked, which suggests that such counter-trafficking measures remain largely ineffective. Moreover, this preoccupation with the dark, exploitative side of the sex industry has been at the expense of a focus upon what is thought to be a far more pervasive form of human trafficking (which also intersects with sexual exploitation), that is labour trafficking. (Labour trafficking is an umbrella term used to denote trafficking for forced and bonded labour (in an array of industries), which also includes domestic servitude and forced marriage, forced begging, and the exploitation in warfare.) Hence, only the ways in human trafficking is manifested is addressed, and not the root causes of the phenomenon.
CitationEmser, M., & Francis, S. (2014). Human Trafficking in South Africa: Political Conundrums and Consequences. In L. Asuelime, & S. Francis (Eds.), Selected Themes in African Political Studies (pp. 49-68). London, United Kingdom: Springer.
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