n Comparative and International Law Journal of Southern Africa - Follow the leader : best practices to combat human trafficking in the United States




Human trafficking is a high-profile issue in the United States (US). The country is regarded as a leader in combating trafficking in persons and its efforts are viewed as revolutionary. The crime of trafficking is tackled on a federal as well as state level in a multi-disciplinary manner and with a coordinated, integrated and sustained approach. Legislation such as the Victims of Trafficking, and Violence Protection Act of 2000 (TVPA) and its reauthorisations has contributed tremendously to fight sex- and labour trafficking. South Africa (SA) has enacted the Prevention and Combating of Trafficking in Persons Act 7 of 2013 (TIP Act) on 29 July 2013. However, the legislation is as yet not fully implemented. Because of its slow response to introduce legislation to criminalise the conduct, South Africa has had the unique opportunity to learn from the errors of other countries that may have responded too hastily to the United Nations' Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, especially Women and Children (Trafficking Protocol). Although the Act draws from international-best practices and is also modelled on the TVPA, it is still lacking in certain aspects when compared to the US's efforts in abolishing human trafficking. This article will elucidate the anti-trafficking legal framework of the US as exemplar for the newly-enacted SA TIP Act. In a brief comparison, the merits as well as the shortcomings in the TIP Act will also be highlighted.


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