Why is it so important to have comprehensive data in the fight against trafficking in persons?

  GLO.ACT South Africa Data Workshop

Pretoria, South Africa - 21 May 2018 - UNODC, under the framework of the Global Action against Trafficking in Persons and the Smuggling of Migrants ( GLO.ACT) and the SADC-UNODC Regional Programme on Trafficking in Persons, in collaboration with the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development, convened from 21 to 23 May 2018 a data orientation workshop for the National Inter-Sectorial Committee on Trafficking in Persons and the Provincial Trafficking in Persons Task Teams.

GLO.ACT South Africa Data WorkshopIn South Africa, there is currently a sporadic collection and analysis of data on trafficking in persons (TIP). Consequently, there is no reliable data on traffickers as well as TIP victims. Centralized, comprehensive data on TIP would support the government's policy response to better enforce TIP legislation. Data collection is also hampered by gaps and limited knowledge on the identification of persons who are victims of trafficking or its perpetrators. Section 41 (b) of the TIP Act identified a need for the establishment of an integrated information management system for TIP to facilitate the effective monitoring and implementation of the Act. Data collation and analysis is crucial for several reasons but some key ones are the need to be able to determine countries of origins of TIP victims and perpetrators, understand to which countries South African citizens and other residents are being trafficked to and, finally, know the nationality of victims who are being trafficked through South Africa on route to another destination country.

GLO.ACT South Africa Data WorkshopDuring the opening ceremony of the workshop, Ambassador Marcus Cornaro, Head of the European Union Delegation to the Republic of South Africa said, "The European vision on migration is based on human rights, responsibility, and mutual solidarity. A vision where traffickers, smugglers and the connected criminal organizations find no place, where we reduce irregular migration and instead we have the courage to invest in more regular and safe channels for migrants". He further said, "For the EU, it is important to ensure that we not only address the impunity of perpetrators but also to treat victims as holders of rights and ensure access and realization of these rights."

GLO.ACT South Africa Data WorkshopDeputy Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs, Hon. John Jeffery used his opening remarks to say, "In South Africa, there is currently no systematic collection and analysis of data on trafficking in persons and the smuggling of migrants; therefore, there is currently no integrated information management system for human trafficking offenders and victims." He further said, " This gap hinders the government's policy response to enforce and implement our TIP Act. In terms of trafficking, different departments produce their own statistics, disaggregated according to different parameters."

GLO.ACT South Africa Data WorkshopMeanwhile, Ms. Zhuldyz Akisheva, UNODC Regional Representative, reaffirmed during her speech that " the TIP data workshop will act as forum to establish TIP data working groups, help develop a roadmap for the establishment of an Integrated Information Management System, help with the exchange experience of the UNODC/SADC TIP Tool, help identify the current gaps in TIP data collection in South Africa and address how a possible the harmonization of the collected data by various government departments can be achieved". 

Workshop participants included the National Inter-Sectorial Committee for Trafficking in Persons (NICTIP) and the Provincial Trafficking in Persons Task Teams (PTT), Civil Society Organizations. Also taking part were our donor, the European Union, and project-implementing partner IOM.

The Global Action to Prevent and Address Trafficking in Persons and the Smuggling of Migrants (GLO.ACT) is a four-year (2015-2019), €11 million joint initiative by the European Union (EU) and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). The project is being implemented in partnership with the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF). GLO.ACT aims to provide assistance to governmental authorities and civil society organizations across 13 strategically selected countries: Belarus, Brazil, Colombia, Egypt, Kyrgyz Republic, Lao PDR, Mali, Morocco, Nepal, Niger, Pakistan, South Africa, Ukraine. It supports the development of more effective responses to trafficking and smuggling, including providing assistance to victims of trafficking and vulnerable migrants through the strengthening of identification, referral, and direct support mechanisms.


For more information, please contact:

Banele Kunene, National Project Officer




Email: glo.act@un.org

Twitter:  @glo_act