What is constantly emerging in discussions with various people, including students and community members in Zimbabwe, is that there is inadequate knowledge of what human trafficking is. Most people are not aware of the fact that there is human trafficking in Southern Africa while others are not aware of what form human trafficking takes. A common misconception is that human trafficking solely refers to the abduction of humans for trade across borders and sale of organs. While this is partly true, it should be noted that human trafficking takes various forms and is not restricted to forced abductions and trade across borders.
A more succint definition is provided in the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, especially Women and Children, which supplements the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organised Crimes. According to the Protocol :
“Trafficking in persons” shall mean the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of persons, by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability or of the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purpose of exploitation. Exploitation shall include, at a minimum, the exploitation of the prostitution of others or other forms of sexual exploitation, forced labour or services, slavery or practices similar to slavery, servitude or the removal of organs.
Over the course of the next few years, SAAHTT will continue to use this blog and other mediums to debunk myths about human traficking and raise awareness on the occurence of human trafficking and what individuals and various organisations can do to stop human trafficking in Southern Africa and indeed in the world.