n Child Abuse Research in South Africa - Human trafficking and the exploitation of women and children in a Southern and South African context

Volume 13, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1562-1383



Human trafficking in South Africa is a serious problem which needs intervention on all fronts. This article seeks to extend the understanding of the different forms of exploitation which women and children are exposed to in the trafficking chain.

The results of the research clearly indicate that South Africa is a source, transit and destination country for trafficked women and children. The study identified a number of trafficking flows in the intercontinental trafficking of women and children to and from South Africa from the rest of the Continent of Africa, as well as domestic trafficking. Trafficking of South Africans out of South Africa was found to be less problematic and only a few cases were reported.
The research confirmed that, as it occurs in most countries, women are mainly the victims of human trafficking in South Africa, with the main purpose of sexual exploitation. Young girls are also trafficked for sexual exploitation. Women and children are trafficked into domestic servitude, forced labour or debt bondage. These women are also used in criminal activities like drug smuggling, begging, trafficking for the removal of body parts (or muti) and for sacrifice in rituals.

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