Sometimes, in my search for information about human trafficking, I find stories from places I wouldn't expect. Today's post is about one of those stories.
I read an article this morning about attempts that are being made in Vancouver to stem the tide of human trafficking ahead of and during the 2010 Olympics. Commendable and encouraging. What was not so encouraging was a short comment (one sentence) condemning South Africa's attempt to legalize prostitution in time for the 2010 World Cup.
I spent an hour searching for additional news stories, and only found one - also from the BBC. I've included a link to the story here. As you'll see, it's dated July, 2008. It's hard for me to believe that nothing else has been written or documented since then; but if it's out there, I couldn't find it. I don't know if this attempt is ongoing, has been defeated, or if the laws have already been changed.
Needless to say, I'm disgusted that - once again - a country, whose government is supposed to protect it's people, is putting money and profit ahead of the health and well being of women. Legalized prostitution gives sex traffickers a place to hide. It allows for the legalized rape of women who have been sold as slaves.
According to the BBC article, one of the strongest opponents to this campaign is the South African Democratic Alliance. I went to their web site as well to try and find additional information, but found none. There is, however, a contact page which I have used to submit an inquiry - asking about the state of this campaign and the laws governing prostitution in South Africa. I would encourage - even plead - for all of you to do the same. Contact this organization and ask questions. If any of you get a response, please post it here as a comment. If I get a response, I will do the same.
For any of you who are interested, here is the U.S. State Departments "Trafficking in Person's Report" for South Africa for 2008.