n South African Journal of Criminal Justice - 'Bought at a price' : trafficking in human beings - a brief study of the law in South Africa and the United States

Volume 24, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 1011-8527
  • E-ISSN: 1996-2118



The crime of trafficking has become a global phenomenon. The international trafficking of human beings is an extremely profitable business. In the 2010 Trafficking in Persons Report it was estimated that there are approximately 12.3 million people around the world, including adults and children, who are victims of either forced labour, bonded labour or forced prostitution. The prevalence of trafficking victims around the world is 1.8 per 1000 inhabitants. Human trafficking for the purpose of sexual exploitation is most prevalent from the economically less advantageous regions to the more developed countries. South Africa is regarded as the main destination for trafficked people in Africa. In many cases, women and children are lured to South Africa with promises of jobs, education or marriage, only to be sold and sexually exploited in the country's major urban centres, small towns and more rural environments. South Africa has signed and ratified the United Nations Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children. Despite this, South Africa has no comprehensive human trafficking legislation. With this in mind the writer attempts to highlight the attempts made by South Africa to deal with the crime of human trafficking, the effectiveness of current legislation in dealing with the crime and the lessons that can be learnt from the United States of America (USA) and their anti-trafficking legislation.

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