World Day against Trafficking in Persons is an observance aimed at raising awareness about the global problem of human trafficking. This heinous crime affects an estimated 40 million-plus victims worldwide, who are trafficked for various purposes such as forced labor, sexual exploitation, and forced marriage. This day highlights the need for governments, civil society, the private sector, and individuals to come together to combat this serious violation of human rights.
The United Nations General Assembly first established the World Day against Trafficking in Persons on December 3, 2013, to serve as a beacon for collective action against this growing problem. In the South African context, human trafficking is a pervasive issue, with victims being predominantly women and children. The country is deemed a source, transit, and destination point for traffickers, with organized criminal networks exploiting the vulnerabilities of marginalized populations. In response, the South African government has enacted the Prevention and Combating of Trafficking in Persons Act (2013) to strengthen the legal framework against human trafficking and intensify national efforts to address this grave injustice.
To observe World Day against Trafficking in Persons in South Africa, various stakeholders, including government bodies, NGOs, and civil society organizations, organize events and campaigns to raise public awareness of the issue. Activities can include workshops, film screenings, panel discussions, and social media campaigns under the banner of #EndHumanTrafficking. World Day against Trafficking in Persons is observed annually on July 30th, a time for South Africans to join forces to protect and restore the dignity of those affected by this crime.
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