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Human trafficking on the increase
Rights Association (ZimRights)
February 08, 2011
as Omalaitsha who are usually in South African registered vehicles
at he Zimbabwe / South African border are preying on people who
wish to leave the country without sufficient documentation.
The gangs charge
a fee upfront in Beitbridge to transport their clients illegally
into South Africa. However, soon after crossing over into South
Africa they make more requests for ridiculously large sums of money
they are aware the hapless passengers cannot afford. Failure to
meet the demands results in confiscation of mobile phones and jewelry
as part payment, after which victims are then detained in houses
in outlying locations, sometimes with the knowledge of the South
African Police (SAPS).
Omalaitsha use victims' mobile phones to call relatives of
the victim demanding more money, or use the victim as sex or manual
labour slaves. Some witnesses revealed men are forced into crime
while women are often forced to commit sexual acts with various
men as payment exposing them to deadly diseases such as HIV and
President of Zimbabwe Cross Border Traders Association said the
kidnappers usually demand R5,000. He added that the practice is
now more widespread and the gangs are becoming well-organised and
International Organisation on Migration (IOM) has put up giant billboards
warning people about the dangers of illegal migration. It has also
set up reception centres for survivors, where most are tested for
sexually-transmitted infections and assisted to return home and
start a new life.
on all Zimbabweans to travel with adequate documents and to be on
the lookout for unscrupulous people who want to exploit their vulnerability.
In as much as people are in pursuit of greener pastures each one
of us must prioritise the security of our lives. ZimRights also
urges government to focus its attention on this problem of human
trafficking which is fast becoming a global crisis.
Visit the Zimbabwe
Human Rights Association (ZimRights) fact
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