Women will be protected in 2010

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Vryheid - Police and law enforcement agencies will go out of their way to prevent human trafficking, particularly against women and children, during the 2010 FIFA World Cup, says President Jacob Zuma.

He said government has noted the concern among women's groups that the 2010 FIFA World Cup may have the unintended consequence of creating opportunities for human trafficking. 

"We must look at ways and strategies of combating and addressing human trafficking at all levels. This painful practice violates the rights of women and their ability to make choices.

"Our police officials will spare no effort in ensuring that those behind these sorts of crime face the full might of the law," President Zuma told a large crowd gathered at the National Women's Day event in Vryheid, in KwaZulu-Natal.

He said government was putting systems in place to prevent human trafficking, as part of general security measures that a country should take when hosting an event of this magnitude, adding that South Africa wanted to hold the best world cup ever.

The President affirmed that government would intensify its efforts to ensure that criminals did not take advantage of the event for trafficking or any other international crime. 

"The nation must unite and expose such violations and protect vulnerable women and girls. We are encouraged by the active participation of residents in areas where such practices are performed," said the President. 

He said it was important for government and civil society to implement constructive programmes against gender-based violence, such as the 
365 Days National Action Plan. 

"We look forward to a day when we can create an environment where women and children are free of any kind of violence. All women must feel free from abuse and intimidation in private and public spaces," the President said.

Turning to other challenges that women face on a day-to-day basis, the President said government would implement its plans accurately to guarantee that women enjoyed the fruits of democracy.

"Government's priority of turning rural areas into thriving centres of development should have a positive impact on women. We know that many women have come together in their localities and emerged with brilliant ideas to foster local economic development and job creation," he said. 

He added that the phase two of the Expanded Public Works Programme was significant for the economic development of women.