How traffickers use social media to lure victims

How traffickers use social media to lure victims

Most people grew up being told not to trust strangers as a safety precaution. 

Human trafficking
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For the most part, that worked even though there were unfortunate instances where abductions took place. 

In this digital age, human trafficking is a matter that is on the rise. 

More perpetrators are luring their victims on social media - making this a gateway for human trafficking rings to target young people who are desperately looking for jobs. 

Recently, news broke that a young South African woman had been rescued from an international human trafficking syndicate in Malaysia, after she signed up on Facebook for a modelling competition in Malaysia.

Police Minister, Fikile Mbalula held a press conference this past weekend after the SAPS, the Hawks and Interpol worked to bring her home. In the conference, Mbalula warned the youth about the dangers of trusting anything that comes from the internet - especially without proper verification. 

ALSO READ: SA woman rescued from alleged human trafficking ring

Crisis centres like Umgeni Community Empowerment Centre (UCEC), which are there to address the issue and help trafficking victims, say they deal with cases of human trafficking everyday. The Centre's youth Co-ordinator, Thami Ntimbane talked about the dangers of the internet. 

He says currently there is a high number of women and children being trafficked internationally and locally. 

The UCEC will be holding their fourth annual Stop Human Trafficking 5km Awareness Walk on 23 September at The Hub, Blue Lagoon - with Sharks captain, Pat Lambie taking part in the walk. 

Ntimbane says the event is to highlight the dangers of human trafficking and to educate children and adults. 

ALSO READ: Govt takes steps to combat human trafficking 

A report conducted by the United Nations between 2012 and 2015 shows that human trafficking in Southern Africa has increased and most of it is domestic human trafficking. 

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According to the Directorate for Priority Crime and Investigation, the number of people prosecuted for trafficking in South Africa between 2012 and 2014 was 14. 

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