Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Game of Shame


The 2010 FIFA World Cup (FWC) in South Africa is expected to generate more than $5 billion, the highest revenue in World Cup history, raising concerns of a likely increase in abuse, exploitation, trafficking of women and children.


International sporting events like the World Cup can affect human trafficking; contributing to short-term increases in demand for prostitution and other forms of sexual exploitation. Global sporting spectacles can facilitate the entry of trafficked persons, as visitor’s transit to other cities and countries where they are likely to be exploited.

Prostitution is illegal but Sex trafficking is big business in Southern Africa. With over 35,000 child prostitutes; South Africa now boasts one of the top countries in Africa in people trafficking. Trafficked girls are easily intermingled amongst local prostitutes. Recent estimated suggest that up to 1000 Mozambican girls are trafficked into Johannesburg each year. To be sold as sex slaves or as wives to miners.

South Africa shares a porous border with Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Mozambique and Swaziland; making it easy for people to come in and out without being detected. This problem is compounded by the lack of adequately trained employees, resulting in few police officials controlling large portions of the country's borders and coastlines.

People trafficking in South Africa are linked with the highly sophisticated global sex industry. Despite these urgent issues, South Africa has no public services specifically designed to assist victims of trafficking. Victims of International cross border sex trade are usually afraid of law enforcement officials. They do not trust the police to assist them’ especially as they can be persecuted are likely to be deported as illegal immigrants.

South Africa is unable to provide adequate protection and assistance to its victims. Children are seen as cheap labour by traffickers. They can be forced to work in unhealthy and dangerous conditions that could lead to their deaths.

These games will provide much excitement for viewers all over the world. But in the shadows and murky world of sexual exploitation; the World Cup provides opportunities for abusers, exploiters and traffickers to meet the increased demand for cheap labour and sexual services.

This trend can only be reduced by greater awareness by all stake holders; and a genuine step-up by law enforcement officials to help protect vulnerable women and children.

17 comments:

Anthony Yeboah said...

A well written piece that reinforces the current campaign surrounding the World Cup to educate our children against this terrible disease.

Finidi george said...

you are a true african keep the lion roaring

Evangelist F Johnson said...

My beloved brother may the lord bless you as your work will progress from strength always. I see big breakthroughs coming your way. Thanks for sharing the hidden agendas concerning this wonderful world cup that is been staged by south africa, we wish them well as they have put africa on the map for good. My brother keep up the good work and your blessings will be enormous indeed.
Blessings
Pastor Gee

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Black Presence said...

I have to say the stadia impressed me, the quality of football really didn't.

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Yinka Ojo said...

One would think, reading your piece, that people going over to South Africa were mostly going there for "human trafficking", "prostitution" and "other forms of sexual exploitation". I can't help think that you are disregarding all the other things, good and bad that football and sports in general, bring to a nation.
Surely that woman who sold fried beancake outside the stadium to visitors who came to watch matches reaped a great benefit from this event. I hear her children's school fees would be paid a lot easier than they ever have been in the past, and for a couple of years at that, with the money she earned. She did after all charge those foreign visitors 1500% more than she used to charge the locals.
Sure, some people would be going for the trafficking, and the prostitution, and the sexual exploitation, but to disregard the majority of people who are going just to enjoy the football, and fried bean cake, is rather pigeonhole looking dare I say. And that, not to talk of the benefit that all the new roads to the stadia that got built provide and the prestige the country derives from being one of those worthy of having a world event held in it.
I can't help feel the experience alone is one that any nation would benefit from myself.
Hopefully many more African countries would put themself on the map too by holding not only football, but other world class events.

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