New South African Human Trafficking Resource Line

New South African Human Trafficking Resource Line

An important milestone to combat human trafficking in South Africa has been reached.

On 30 August 2016, the new South African National Human Trafficking Resource Line (NHTRL) was launched. It is tipped by local organisations to not be just another helpline to report human trafficking? In addition to it being an emergency helpline for human trafficking it is also a referral line for other services like training, awareness and information.

The South African National Human Trafficking Resource Line is: 0800 222 777

This line takes calls 24/7 and can assist callers from all 9 of South Africa’s provinces. Tip-off’s and requests for information, training and so forth can also be submitted online via the website, making the Resource Line multimodal to increase accessibility. The Call Specialists who answer calls are professionals, trained trained for purpose who follow international procedures, ensuring the fastest response to each case.

The Resource Line works in close partnership with many stakeholders in each province to ensure rapid response and effectiveness to each call or request. The line is a single number to call on all Human Trafficking related matters. It is also  a national collaboration between civil society and government. In other words, this resource line is a national collaborative initiative to report, respond to and ultimately eradicate Human Trafficking in South Africa.

WHEN SHOULD YOU PHONE?

To report suspected trafficking of persons and submit a tip.

  • This can be done by speaking to one of our call specialists or by completing an online tip form.
  • All reports are confidential and you may remain anonymous.

When you or someone you know, requires Victim Assistance.

  • If you think you are a victim of trafficking and need help, our call specialists are available to guide and support you while connecting you to the necessary partners and emergency services.

When you need information or services related to human trafficking

  • This is a new exciting tool to help move South Africa towards the eradication of modern day slavery, by following the Social Media Pages and staying up to date with the latest news. Visit the website to learn more about how you and your loved ones can protect yourself whilst traveling, applying for work or educational opportunities and about online safety measures.

www.0800222777.org.za.

 

Official Hashtag: #NHTRL #SeeSomethingSaySomething

www.facebook.com/FreedomGenerationSA
https://www.instagram.com/freedomgenerationsa_/

https://twitter.com/FreeGenSA?s=09

 

This news was shared with CCARHT by Professor Beatri Kruger (Criminal Law) from the University of the Free State, South Africa.

Culture, Context and International Cooperation: Day 2 of the Summer Symposium

Culture, Context and International Cooperation:

Day 2 of the Summer Symposium

Less than halfway through the CCARHT Summer School Symposium, a theme that strongly emerged was how broad and far reaching human trafficking is, whilst simultaneously being so distinctive in comparison to other crimes.

It is broad and far reaching in the sense that it is prevalent globally – at the national, regional and international levels. Additionally it covers many different types of crime, from slavery and labour exploitation, to fraud and similar financial criminal activity, and to forced sex work and organ harvesting.

It is distinct from other crimes in the sense of its structure, with levels of coordination differing at each stage of the trafficking process, and also in the sense that how its nature is dependent on the distinct cultural context in which it is operating. Yet in whatever form it manifests, one thing the symposium impressed on all present is how urgent the issue still is.

Glynn Rankin, Former co-Director of the UK Human Trafficking Centre, kicked off day two of the symposium, speaking about trafficking from a prosecutor’s perspective. While recognising that international co-operation is vital in tackling trafficking, Glynn emphasised the difficulties in this. Procuring, requesting and corroborating evidence from other countries makes the legal process very bureaucratic, even before the case goes to court, which presents new challenges regarding victim protection. While the reported cases of human trafficking have risen, the sad but unsurprising result of the complicated and lengthy prosecution process, is that the number of prosecutions have in fact fallen.

As if to bolster Glynn’s point on international cooperation, Professor P M Nair, (former senior Indian Police officer, UNODC, NHRC amongst others) then focused on India, drawing attention to the fact that India is a source, transit and destination country for human trafficking. The Indian government is not unaware of the issue; in fact, Professor Nair acknowledged that the government has set aside a substantial budget to start addressing trafficking. However, this is mainly spent on reacting to cases, whereas Professor Nair believes that the financial resources would be better spent on prevention and rehabilitation, particularly on capacity building – giving women the opportunity to study and work in order for them to support themselves, thus reducing the supply of potential trafficking victims.

This brought us onto one of the major discussion points of the symposium – how cultural and developmental contexts make people more vulnerable to being trafficked. In India specifically, the caste system means poverty is pervasive, creating vulnerability in an entire segment of the population – 82% trafficking victims are from the poorest castes. Added to this is the communitarian tradition, which sees families and communities playing a significant role in children’s decisions. In our more individualist society, it can often be difficult to comprehend why parents might willingly send their children away into sex work, but we must bear in mind that in impoverished rural areas, the opportunity for a child to go to the city to work may seem like an appealing one on the surface. Once in the city, the children are trafficked into sex work, with escape extremely difficult, unable to inform their communities at home of their predicament and the fraud. Hence Professor Nair stressed that sensitive intervention and good information are vital if we are to tackle the source issues.

Naturally, international differences do not only encompass economic disparity; Beatri Kruger, Professor of Criminal Law at the University of the Free State in South Africa, highlighted the abuse of African traditional religion by traffickers, demonstrating the role of cultural contexts to human trafficking. ‘Juju’ ritual practices have been used by the Yoruba people in South West Nigeria for centuries, with some criminalised, but others serving as binding legal oaths. Already, as Beatri pointed out, the law has a contradictory approach to the role of Juju. Amidst this confusion, traffickers now use Juju as an invisible control mechanism. Having subjected victims to an oath through Juju, involving inserting the evil spirit into the victim’s body, traffickers create a profound fear and belief that breaking the oath will result in misfortune. They gain an extremely powerful position over the victim, without having to place physical restraints on them, or even to be geographically proximate to the victim, because the ritual has made it spiritually impossible for their victim to escape.

These cultural and developmental issues create two related problems. Firstly, they are not immediately apparent – invisible control mechanisms are so powerful because they are difficult to detect, adding to the already huge challenge of identifying victims. Similarly, developmental issues are perpetual and permanent background issues that are not a direct cause of trafficking. Secondly, if we do not share the same cultural and economic backgrounds, it can be difficult for us to immediately understand the source issues. This makes it difficult to identifying the issues themselves and more difficult to tackle on a political and legal level. A huge question we face is how we can reclaim traditional practices from the abuse of traffickers, and to develop source areas’ economies and create more alternatives to taking up work opportunities that involve trafficking. However, these solutions must be navigated extremely carefully in order to avoid attacking and suppressing different cultural traditions. Identifying traffickers’ precise intervention with these traditions is a challenge in itself.

As well as the international component, trafficking is a distinct type of crime in its structure, as recognised by Dr Paolo Campana, University of Cambridge Lecturer in Criminology and Complex Networks, and Sine Plambech, a Post Doctural researcher at the Danish Institute for International Studies. Dr Campana explained how there is relatively little coordination between actors in the recruitment and exploitation stages of trafficking, since they tend to operate individually, unlike other types of crime, where participants often contribute to a centralised criminal project. This adds to identification difficulties – tracking down one trafficker does not help to identify others in the same chain of trafficking. This is exacerbated by the fact that sometimes recruiters and madams may be victims themselves, as Sine pointed out. As it becomes more expensive to travel to the destination country, victims may try to recruit others to reduce the overall cost, blurring the line between victim and trafficker.

Not only are the traffickers difficult to identify, but also victims can often be hidden amongst crowds in day-to-day life. The current global focus appears to be on trying to catch trafficking at the transportation stage – we see this ourselves with increasingly stringent border controls. However, Dr Campana posed the question: ‘How are victims meant to be picked out from a crowd of ordinary travellers?’ Instead, he suggested that resources should be channelled to tackling trafficking at the source and exploitation stages, bringing us back to the contextual issues explored by Professors Nair and Kruger.

It is clear that human trafficking is an extremely urgent issue that cannot be ignored. Trying to understand the motivations of victims, consumers, and the traffickers themselves is essential. As Leo Sakomoto said at the end of the film ‘Not My Life’, which ended the day, ‘I can’t see a good life while there are people living like animals. Not because I’m a good person, not because it’s my duty, but because they are human—like me.’ Although there are cultural differences between regions, we all share a common humanity, and it is this with which we must engage in order to empathise with all actors involved in trafficking so that we can find an effective long-term solution. After all, as another quote from the film recognised, ‘trafficking is not an inevitable outcome of the human condition’.

This summer school has made me determined to contribute to the work against human trafficking to bring us closer to the day when trafficking is no longer an outcome of the human condition at all.

Version 2Thanks to our guest blogger Tiffany HuiTiffany has just finished her first year studying Law Gonville & Caius College, Cambridge. She attended the CCARHT Summer Symposium 2016 as an intern, and is the secretary of Cambridge University Amnesty International. She is hoping to use this experience to pursue human rights law in the future. 

If you are a Student working in the field of migration, the history of Slavery or on aspects of Human Trafficking and would like to be part of our Associate Internship programme or post material to be considered for our blog – do be in contact – contact@ccarht.org.

What’s in a Name? Trafficking in a world of Modern Slavery – CCARHT Summer Symposium

CCARHT Summer Symposium

What’s in a Name? Trafficking in a world of Modern Slavery 

“The discussion around Human Trafficking has been led by the law…but only a multi-disciplinary, culturally contextual approach will truly enable use to understand the causes and find effective solutions.

Dr. Carrie Pemberton Ford

On Monday the 1st of August, the Cambridge Centre for Applied Research into Human Trafficking (CCARHT)’s inaugural Summer Symposium commenced. Situated in the 500 year old Upper Hall of Jesus College, Cambridge, the Symposium was led by CCARHT director, Dr. Carrie Pemberton-Ford and attended by members of NATO, MEP’s, lawyers, academics, businesswomen, psychologists and delegates from the USA to Switzerland, India to the UAE. The aim, to shift the perspective of anti-human trafficking advocacy from a purely legal lens to, as Dr. Pemberton-Ford enthusiastically repeated ‘twenty-twenty-vision’.

“What do we mean when we say someone has been trafficked?” – In the wake of UK Prime Minister Theresa May’s declaration of a £33m war-chest to combat ‘Modern Slavery’, terminology and history were the focal point for the first day of the Symposium. ‘When we consider trafficking, we have to be aware that at certain historically and culturally specific moments in time, different disciplines have come into play in order to define ‘trafficking’ as we have known it and as we understand it today’.  

As we began deciphering the language around trafficking, this already hydra-headed issue became far more complex. In it’s entirety, trafficking, as defined by the UN*, is equally distributed with a third occurring internationally, a third regionally and a third domestically. However, the nature of the 19th century Nation State, with its inherent sovereignty and defined borders, gave a historical context to the current over emphasis of trafficking as an international trade. The concept, which rests on the colonial enterprises of European nations in the wake of the abolition of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade – which in and of itself did not free those already enslaved, a task accomplished after an American civil war and further legislation – began a deeper discussion on, if any, the differences between trafficking and ‘Modern Day Slavery’. MEP Mary Honeyball, who has done extensive work with the European Parliament concerning trafficking, discussed this further, highlighting the focus on law enforcement within the Modern Day Slavery act rather than the gendered aspect of trafficking itself.

The highly asymmetrical and gendered nature of the issue was critically analysed through the psychological practice of neuroception. Considering we think our best when we feel safe, in situations of danger our flight or fight instinct is supposedly triggered. Yet, regarding the gendered aspect of trafficking, we discovered that the experiments that supported ‘flight or fight’ were only done on male lab rats. When the same tests were done on females, they tried to ‘absorb’ the situation. Unlike their male counterparts, when faced with an imminent, life threatening danger, female rats, and by extrapolation females, ‘play dead’, passing out or collapsing. With those caught in the high-risk activity of trafficking often stuck in zones of imminent danger, and thus often vulnerable if not dissociative, those who create policy are operating within a safe zone. As the day wore on, it became clear that, with European and North American nation states at the fore-front of the legal narrative surrounding and shaping human trafficking, not only do they often lack a historical perspective to their work, but they also lack the survivor narratives which are essential for designing effective policy.

In all, the opening day was an intense whirlwind that took us from the Palermo protocol through to anthropological readings of culture and language. It forced us to engage intimately with trafficking, to claw away at the legal jargon surrounding the issue, and begin to see its multi-faceted nature. Leaving with some of our core beliefs shattered if not severely questioned only hinted at what was to come as the week, and the Symposium, progressed.

*Article 3, paragraph (a) of the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons defines Trafficking in Persons as 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 (UNODC).

JK OfficialThanks to our guest blogger Justina Kehinde Ogunseitan. Justina is a Social Anthropology and English Literature graduate of the University of Cambridge. With a keen interest in BME women’s rights and welfare and human trafficking, she uses both academia and the creative arts as a means social advocacy. 


If you are a Student working in the field of migration, the history of Slavery or on aspects of Human Trafficking and would like to be part of our Associate Internship programme or post material to be considered for our blog – do be in contact – contact@ccarht.org.

The complex heritage of displacement: the long view of mediterranean ‘flight’

The complex heritage of displacement: the long view of mediterranean ‘flight’

Here in Cambridge we have the immense privilege of being able on occasion to step out of the mele of immediate  political and socio-economic pressures and take something of a ‘long view’ on some of the burning questions of contemporary times.

Such an opportunity opened up last month when the McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research curated a day sympopsium on ‘The Heritage of Displacement : Forced Migration In The Mediterranean Through History’.

Across history the current site of extreme EU anxiety with hundreds of thousands now seeking entry into Europe via the Mediterranean fleeing warfare and poverty, has seen large human movement, frequently in clusters of activity.  In the Byzantine Empire there was a well-articulated slave trade mobilized through the Mediterranean, a period of slavery which extracted African populations in to Europe and the Byzantine Empire through Sicily, the expulsion of Jews from Spain triggered evacuation of that population through the Mediterranean, the persecution of gypsies across North Africa and the Southern Mediterranean; forced movements of Armenians; political migration of ‘city’ exiles from Greece, a whole range of ecological circumstances which had forced people from their homes and settled living, the threat of famine, severe cooling in Neolithic times, as well as more recent challenges of global warming.

LAMPEDUSA-photos-by-Vik-Muniz_5 2 Forced migration has the meaning embedded in its description – people leave their homes when their homes no longer let them stay. As Warsan Shire reminds us

No one leaves home unless

Home is the mouth of a shark

You only run for the border

When you see the whole city running as well

Your neighbors running faster than youboats with Africans

Breathe bloody in their throats

The boy you went to school with

Who kissed you dizzy behind the old tin factoryMigranti Revignano fived day exposition 2015

Is holding a gun bigger than his body

You only leave home

When home won’t let you stay[1]

All these  ‘new comers’ who arrived, precipitously, unannounced, unbidden, brought their cultures in to the societies which for some they had chosen, others that they clung to and sought to find a safe place in which to integrate. And through this messy process precipitated by terror, dread, brutality, and flight, created heritage which are now celebrated in museums across Europe. Museums curate the  symbols of interconnections which lie inexorably between history, objects, people and memories. The Mediterranean sea bed however curates many thousands now of lost lives since the onset of the most recent pressure of movement started to arise after the blighting of hopes for liberal regime change after the suppression of the Arab Spring of 2010.

When people are forced to move they seek and find ways to express their love, sorrow, hope and despair in the midst of the fluidity and indeterminacy of movement. Forced travellers have and continue to be on a journey of searching to find a place to call theirs, and in doing so they have been making heritage by the very process of moving – however desperate the circumstances.

Disturbing and truthful images in Museo Atlantico, in Lanzarote, from British Artist British artist Jason deCaires Taylor
Lampedusa Cross – constructed from wooden fishing boats used in the Mediterranean crossings – commissioned by the Anglican Centre in Rome

The art and the art like detritus of safety harnesses, clothes and shoes, or the capsized fishing vessels and now inflatables, which has emerged from the  2014-2015  mass migration across from North Africa to Lampedusa on Sicily’s southern archipelago, is one of the instances of new images which have already started to populate our museums and places of public worship and reflection.  British artist They are a sign of the continuing sense making, and space making work which is deeply human, and reaches out to connect with settled humanity as others are forced to flee.

[1] Conversations about Home – Telling my mother how to give birth. Mouthmark series No 10  2011  Warsan Shire.

Thanks to our guest blogger Ekin Deniz Horzum, University of Glasgow, UK – PhD in Law who is one of our Associate Research Students working with CCARHT.  Ekin  attended this conference held in Cambridge University on May 13th 2016.  Ekin is hoping to be present at the CCARHT #SummerSchool August 2016 where we shall be exploring more about Migration , enslavement and contemporary themes of Human Trafficking in its Global as well as Mediterranean setting.
If you are a Student working in the field of migration, the history of Slavery or on aspects of Human Trafficking and would like to be part of our Associate Internship programme or post material to be considered for our blog – do be in contact –
contact@ccarht.org.