Human trafficking is modern-day slavery - Gigaba

Monday, February 22, 2010

Pretoria - Home Affairs Deputy Minister Malusi Gigaba has called for collective action among Southern African Development Community countries to combat human trafficking.

Gigaba on Monday said human trafficking is a modern form of slavery and that everything possible must be done to combat it.

"We should emphasise that human trafficking does not only take place between countries; it also takes place within countries. South Africa is not an exception to this reality," he said.

Gigaba was addressing a workshop aimed at raising awareness about and stopping human trafficking.

In a bid to effectively deal with human trafficking, a SADC Summit of Ministers responsible for migration has been proposed.

Gigaba said the summit would assist in regulating migration within the region.

"South Africa cannot solve the problem of inter-country human trafficking acting alone against organised inter-country syndicates that co-operate with each other.

"SADC and African countries must all be urged to provide their nationals with identity and travel documents to make it easier and safer for them both to be identifiable at home as well as to travel abroad," he said.

He emphasised the need to heighten efforts to minimise conditions in the region and on the continent which spawn refugee situations, resulting in millions of people who often travel under emergency conditions.

"We need further to harmonise both our immigration and trafficking legislation in the region and continent so that we can all have common instruments to combat human trafficking."