GLO.ACT facilitates unique information sharing workshop on human trafficking for key stakeholders in South Africa

Sheraton Hotel Pretoria, South Africa -  21 June 2017 - In August 2015, the Prevention and Combatting of Trafficking in Persons (PACOTIP) Act came into operation. The introduction of this legislation has meant that the South African government now has a comprehensive legal tool to combat human trafficking in all its forms. In order to help streamline and strengthen Trafficking in Persons (TIP) programmes in South Africa, the Global Action against Trafficking in Persons and Smuggling of Migrants (GLO.ACT) facilitated a workshop from the 19 to the 20 June 2017.

GLO.ACT addresses TIP and the Smuggling of Migrants (SOM) through six pillars, with pillar number three being capacity building. In South Africa, training is one of the key interventions of the Draft National Policy Framework on the Prevention and Combatting of Trafficking in Persons Act. Indeed, the Draft National Policy Framework for the implementation, Administration and Monitoring of the Prevention and Combating of Trafficking in Persons Act, goes on to say that training programmes must be periodically reviewed for possible amendments to ensure improved service delivery.

During the opening ceremony of the workshop, Mr. Manuel Iglesias, First Counsellor, Head of Section for Governance, Social Sectors and Culture at the Delegation of the European Union to the Republic of South Africa said that: "Like South Africa, the European Union (EU) has been confronted with unprecedented irregular migration. The management of these mixed migration flows is a priority for the European Union as it is for South Africa". He further said that: "The European Union Delegation to South Africa congratulates the Government of South Africa on the significant effort in the promulgation of the "Prevention and Combating of Trafficking in Persons Act (PACOTIP)", which criminalizes all forms of human trafficking and mandates a coordinated government programme to prevent and combat trafficking. We are proud to be supporting the further operationalization of this progressive legislation through GLO.ACT."

Deputy Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs, Hon. John Jeffery used his opening remarks to mention the different forms of human trafficking in South Africa as well as providing some numbers on convictions. He said that: "In November 2016, 3 men were convicted of for running a brothel with minor as young as 12 years of age. Sentences for these convictions were 315, 304 and 250 years respectively."

Meanwhile, Ms. Zhuldyz Akisheva, UNODC Regional Representative, reaffirmed during her speech that "TIP has been condemned in the strongest terms by the UN Security Council." She went on to say that: "In terms of strengthening the response to trafficking in persons, GLO.ACT will support the revision of identification and referral guidelines and standard operating procedures (SOPs) for victims of trafficking. There is also an opportunity to support the establishment of an integrated information system to facilitate the effective monitoring and implementation of the Tracking in Persons Act."

The objectives and key deliverables of the workshop were:

  • To establish a road map for the implementation of training requirements as set out in section 44 (10) the Prevention and Combating Trafficking in Persons Act and the National Policy Framework on TIP;
  • To explore how to strengthen and harmonise training programmes for criminal justice officials and other key stakeholders working to address trafficking in persons in South Africa;
  • To promote the institutionalization of training in all competent institutions, optimising existing resources and exploring the development of an integrated training programme for all stakeholders with a focus on Provincial Task Teams;
  • To develop a common understanding of the implementation, roles and responsibilities of all relevant role players in the TIP process;
  • To develop an implementation plan for capacity building for criminal justice officials who will support the multi-sectoral national task team in the fight against trafficking in persons; and
  • To explore strategies on effective TIP public awareness programmes.

Workshop participants included the South African Inter-Sectorial Committee for Trafficking in Persons (NICTIP), Provincial Task Teams (PTT) on Trafficking, Civil Society Organisations and representatives involved in the development and management of TIP training programmes. These included representatives from the Department of Justice and Constitutional Affairs, the South African Police Services, the National Prosecuting Authority, the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (DPCI), the Department of Home Affairs and the Department of Social Development. Also taking part were our donor, the European Union, and project-implementing partners and IOM.


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