South African Interim Counter-trafficking provisions

3.1 Interim counter trafficking
3.1.1 Children’s Act 38 of 2005
Interim provisions on trafficking in children are included in the Children’s Act 38 of 2005 (‘the Children’s Act’) in partial compliance with the Palermo Protocol. Given that the Children’s Act applies to children only, it does not fully comply with standard 1, namely the definition of ‘trafficking in persons’. The Children’s Act contains a definition of ‘trafficking in relation to a child’ only. The Act provides that:
‘“trafficking”, in relation to a child –
(a) means the recruitment, sale, supply, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of children, within or across the borders of the Republic –
(i) by any means, including the use of threat, force or other forms of coercion, abduction, fraud, deception, abuse of power or the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control of a child; or
(ii) due to a position of vulnerability, for the purpose of exploitation; and
(b) includes the adoption of a child facilitated or secured through illegal means.’
This definition is to a large extent similar to the provision in the Palermo Protocol pertaining to the trafficking of a child. However, apart from the similar action and purpose components of the definition, there are a number of differences between the definitional formulations. First, the definition in the Children’s Act is somewhat broader than that of the protocol, in that the terms ‘sale’ and ‘supply’ are added as prohibited actions.
Secondly, adoption secured through illegal means is also included in the action component of the definition of trafficking in children.The unqualified inclusion of illegal adoption in the Act may cause confusion. In agreement with Kassan,it must be pointed out that an ‘illegal adoption’ means the ‘exploitation of the adoptive system and laws and not necessarily the exploitation of the adopted child’. For an illegal adoption to qualify as trafficking, an interpretation should be followed in line with that in the Palermo Protocol, namely that the primary intention of the illegal adoption must be to exploit the child.

Thirdly, the definition of trafficking in the Children’s Act also differs from the provision in the Palermo Protocol regarding the so-called ‘means’ element. The ‘means’ element in the Palermo Protocol requires that the perpetrator must use at least one of the listed improper means, such as force, threat, fraud or deception, in committing the prohibited action. In the case of the trafficking of adults, the Palermo Protocol requires the presence of the means element to constitute human trafficking, but not for the trafficking of a child under the age of eighteen years. In providing special protection for children, the Palermo Protocol lays down that the prescribed action element, namely the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receiving of a child for the purpose of exploitation, constitutes trafficking in persons, even if none of the means set out in the definition were used. Unlike the protocol, the Children’s Act provides that trafficking in children requires the prohibited action to be committed by ‘any means, including the use of threat, force or other forms of coercion, abduction, fraud, [and] deception’, for the purpose of exploitation. One interpretation of ‘any means’ is that no means are required for child trafficking, and that the definition in the Children’s Act thus corresponds with the definition in the Palermo Protocol. Then again, Kassan points out that a different interpretation of ‘any means’ is that the Children’s Act does require one of the specified means to be present to constitute trafficking in children.The latter interpretation is problematic, in that, if the means element is required for trafficking in children, it is not in line with the Palermo Protocol, which waives the means element in regard to child trafficking. The formulation of the ‘means’ element in the definition of ‘trafficking’ in the Children’s Act has therefore been ‘criticised for creating a greater evidentiary burden’ than is required by the Palermo Protocol.
The third standard requires the criminalisation of human trafficking. The Children’s Act criminalises the trafficking of children by natural or juristic persons for an exploitative purpose. Unlike the international standard, this provision only applies to children who are trafficked and not to adult victims. It is to be welcomed that the Children’s Act regards child trafficking as a serious offence, for which imprisonment of up to twenty years may be imposed.Additional protection for children is provided, in that it is no defence for the perpetrator that the child, or the person having control over the child, has consented to the exploitation or illegal adoption or that the intended exploitation or adoption did not occur.
As was pointed out in relation to standard four above, states parties are not only obligated to criminalise the main crime of human trafficking, but also any conduct constituting attempts to commit the crime, participation as accomplices, and organising or directing others to commit human trafficking.The Children’s Act does not include the criminalisation of attempts to commit human trafficking, because this is already covered in existing South African law. The attempt to commit any crime is recognised as a substantive crime in the South African legal system.

Participation as an accomplice by unlawfully and intentionally furthering a crime committed by someone else is also punishable in our existing law. Furthermore, the Riotous Assemblies Act 17 of 1956 (‘Riotous Assemblies Act’) criminalises conspiracy and incitement to commit a crime.However, the Riotous Assemblies Act does not include the protocol’s specific term ‘organising’ others to commit human trafficking.
Apart from criminalising the crime of trafficking, the Children’s Act also criminalises certain behaviour ‘facilitating trafficking in children’ in order to cast the net wide enough so as to include the various role players that usually profit from this crime. On conviction of this crime of facilitating trafficking in children, a maximum of ten years’ imprisonment may be imposed. In short, the prohibited behaviour entails leasing any property for the purpose of harbouring a trafficked child or distributing information alluding to trafficking. Further, internet service providers are required to report any site on their servers that contains such prohibited information.
Apart from creating trafficking offences, chapter 18 of the Children’s Act also regulates other matters in regard to trafficking in children, such as the provision of international cooperation, as well as extraterritorial jurisdiction. Underpinning the best-interests-of-the-child principle, the Act further provides for the safety of the trafficked child and specific assistance in returning the child to the Republic,as well as for referral and repatriation procedures. However, Kassan maintains that the provisions for assisting trafficked children in the Children’s Act do not fully comply with all the types of assistance that states parties are obliged to render or consider in terms of the Palermo Protocol.

Finally, the counter-trafficking provisions in the Children’s Act make it possible to prosecute offenders for any type of trafficking where a child is the victim. However, full compliance with the Palermo Protocol is lacking, because this Act applies to child victims only and therefore offers no remedy for trafficked adults.

Manhunt on for Bangladesh Human Trafficking Kingpin (13 July 2015)

bangladesh westbengal

KOLKATA: The kingpin of South-East Asia’s largest network trafficking women has fled Bangladesh to seek shelter in West Bengal, according to a report sent by the Dhaka unit of the Indo-Bangla joint task force against human trafficking.

Shaheen Khondakar gave the slip to Bangladesh’s Rapid Action Battalion which raided his apartment in a highrise building at Turag in Dhaka last week, from where he ran a placement agency for women. Though the kingpin could flee, his aide Seema Akhtar alias Mousumi and five persons were arrested. The police rescued nine women, out of which six were supposed to be trafficked to Central Asia while three were to be sent to Chennai.

The state CID has launched a manhunt for Shaheen and issued an alert for him all over the country after the report reached the Secretariat,”Nabanna”.

According to sources in the Home Department, under the guise of the placement agency, Shaheen and Seema had over the last few years trafficked thousands of Bangladeshi young women to different parts of India, where they were forced into prostitution or sold to rich Arabs.

“In India their favourite destinations were Mumbai, Pune, New Delhi, Bangalore and Chennai. They would assure these women, many of whom could speak English, of lucrative jobs as receptionists in big hotels or medium-sized corporate houses. But once in India, they would be sold by Shaheen’s agents to pimps who forced them into prostitution in big cities,” a CID official told Express.

The CID is the nodal agency for West Bengal’s anti-human trafficking unit and its representatives regularly attend the meetings of the joint task force of the two countries. At a meeting held in Mumbai, names of 556 Bangladeshi human traffickers and 514 agents were handed over to the neighbouring country.

Dhaka was also given a list of Shaheen’s “dens” in Bangladesh — Khulna, Rajshahi, Borishal, Chittagong — other than the country’s capital.

New Delhi has also expressed concern about Dhaka’s not being able to nab Shaheen and his associates, who have links with arms and gold smugglers from both the countries as well.

In West Bengal, Shaheen’s network operates in almost all districts which share a border with Bangladesh. Its agents have connections in the police administration and political parties.

Article from:
http://www.newindianexpress.com/nation/Manhunt-on-for-Bangladesh-Human-Trafficking-Kingpin/2015/07/13/article2916980.ece1

Media Best Practices

Media Best Practices

Ask most people where their information about human trafficking comes from, and the answer is often “I heard about it on the news.” Unsurprisingly, the media play an enormous role shaping perceptions and guiding the public conversation about this crime. How the media reports on human trafficking is just as important as what is being reported, and the overall impact of these stories is reflected in the way the public, politicians, law enforcement, and even other media outlets understand the issue.

In recent years, a number of reports about trafficking have relied on misinformation and outdated statistics, blamed or exploited victims, and conflated terminology. Instead of shining a brighter light on this problem, such reports add confusion to a crime that is already underreported and often misunderstood by the public. As the issue of human trafficking begins to enter the public consciousness, members of the media have a responsibility to report thoroughly and responsibly, and to protect those who have already been victimized.

A few promising practices can keep journalists on the right track:

Language matters. Is there a difference between survivor and victim? Prostitution and sex trafficking? Human smuggling and human trafficking? The conflation of terms, as well as the failure to use the correct definition to describe human trafficking, can confuse and mislead audiences. Human trafficking is a complex crime that many communities are still trying to understand, and using outdated terms or incorrect definitions only weakens understanding of the issue.Become familiar with the trafficking definitions of international law, found in the Palermo Protocol to the United Nations Transnational Organized Crime Convention, as well as other related terms that are commonly used.

Dangers of re-victimization. Photos or names of human trafficking victims should not be published without their consent, and journalists should not speak with a minor without a victim specialist, parent, or guardian present. Human trafficking cases often involve complex safety concerns that could be exacerbated by a published story, or if a victim or survivor has not fully healed, a published story may reactivate trauma or shame years later. Ensure that, before a victim of human trafficking agrees to share his or her story, he or she understands that once the story is published, it will be available to the public at large.

Survivor stories. Although interviewing survivors may be the key to understanding human trafficking, there are optimal ways to approach survivors and learn about their experiences. Reporters should invest time engaging service providers and NGOs that work with survivors to learn and understand the best possible approaches. Be flexible, do not make demands, and do not expect the survivor to tell you his or her story in one sitting. Spend time with survivors, get to know them as people, and follow up even after the story is complete.

Half the story. When media report on only one type of human trafficking, the public is left with only part of the story. Human trafficking includes sex trafficking, child sex trafficking, forced labor, bonded labor, involuntary domestic servitude, and debt bondage. Strengthen the public’s understanding of human trafficking and the full scope of the crime.

Numbers game. Reporters often lead with numbers, but reliable statistics related to human trafficking are difficult to find. Human trafficking is a clandestine crime and few victims and survivors come forward for fear of retaliation, shame, or lack of understanding of what is happening to them. Numbers are not always the story. Pursue individual stories of survival, new government initiatives, or innovative research efforts until better data are available.

Human trafficking happens. Simply reporting that human trafficking occurs is not a story. Human trafficking happens in every country in the world. Go deeper and find out who are the most vulnerable to victimization, what kind of help is offered for survivors, and what your community is doing to eradicate this problem.

Advocacy journalism. Human trafficking is a popular topic for journalists hoping to make a social impact. Journalists may befriend survivors, earn their trust, and in some cases help remove them from a harmful situation. This is typically not appropriate. Everyone should do their part to help eradicate this crime, but victim assistance should be handled by accredited organizations. “Rescuing” a victim is not a means to a story. Instead, connect a victim to a reputable service provider to ensure they are safe and their needs are met.

HUman trafficking and major sporting events

Human Trafficking and Major Sporting Events

Major sporting events—such as the Olympics, World Cup, and Super Bowl—provide both an opportunity to raise awareness about human trafficking as well as a challenge to identify trafficking victims and prosecute traffickers who take advantage of these events. Successful anti-trafficking efforts must be comprehensive and sustainable, addressing both labor and sex trafficking conditions before, during, and after such events.

Prior to the Event: Major sporting events often entail massive capital improvement and infrastructure projects, creating a huge demand for cost-effective labor and materials. Governments and civil society can take steps to prevent this significant increase in construction from being accompanied by an increase in forced labor. Governments should ensure labor laws meet international standards, regulate labor recruitment agencies, and frequently inspect construction sites for violations of labor laws. To prepare for the 2012 Olympics in London, the London Councils, a government association in the United Kingdom, commissioned a report on the potential impact of the Olympics on human trafficking. Governments in countries hosting major sporting events may wish to consider similar analyses to identify potential gaps in human trafficking responses. These strategies will be particularly important in countries planning to host future Olympics (Brazil in 2016, South Korea in 2018, and Japan in 2020) and World Cup tournaments (Russia in 2018 and Qatar in 2022).

Game Day: Increased commerce, tourism, and media attention accompany major sporting events. Unfortunately, there is a lack of hard data on the prevalence of human trafficking—including sex trafficking —associated with these events. Governments and civil society—including the airline and hospitality sectors—can collaborate to combat trafficking by launching media campaigns, training law enforcement officials and event volunteers, and establishing partnerships to recognize indicators of human trafficking and to identify victims. Additional data collection of human trafficking surrounding major sporting events will inform future anti-trafficking efforts.

After the Event Concludes: Modern slavery is a 365-day-a-year crime that requires a 365-day-a-year response. Traffickers do not cease operations once a sporting event concludes, and stadiums and surrounding areas can remain popular destinations for travel and tourism. The lasting effect of anti-trafficking efforts associated with major sporting events can be even more important than the impact of those efforts during the event itself. This ripple effect can take the form of enhanced partnerships between law enforcement officials, service providers, and the tourism industry, or simply sports fans sustaining the anti-trafficking efforts that they learned about during the event

Marginalized Communities: Romani Victims of Trafficking

Marginalized Communities: Romani Victims of Trafficking

Romani—also known as Roma, Roms, or Romane—are one of the largest minority groups in Europe and are highly vulnerable to human trafficking. Ethnic Romani men, women, and particularly children are subjected to sex trafficking and forced labor—including forced begging, forced criminality, involuntary domestic servitude, and servile marriages—throughout Europe, including in Western Europe, Central Europe, and the Balkans. This exploitation occurs both internally, especially in countries with large native Romani populations, and transnationally. The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Ministerial Council issued a decision in December 2013 that called on participating States to take measures to address Romani victims of human trafficking.

Like other marginalized groups across the world, Romani are particularly vulnerable to trafficking due to poverty, multi-generational social exclusion, and discrimination—including lack of access to a variety of social services, education, and employment. For instance, because of poor access to credit and employment opportunities, Romani often resort to using informal moneylenders that charge exorbitant interest rates, contributing to high levels of debt, which heighten trafficking vulnerability. Furthermore, recorded cases also exist of exploiters fraudulently claiming social benefits from Romani trafficking victims, depriving victims of this assistance.

In general, European governments do not adequately address the issue of identifying and protecting Romani trafficking victims. Victim protection services and prevention campaigns are often not accessible to the Romani community, as they are at times denied services based on their ethnicity or are located in isolated areas where services are not available. Law enforcement and other officials are typically not trained in or sensitized to trafficking issues in the Romani community. At times, combating trafficking has been used as a pretext to promote discriminatory policies against Romani, such as forced evictions and arbitrary arrests and detention.

Many Romani victims are hesitant to seek assistance from the police because they distrust authorities due to historic discrimination and a fear of unjust prosecution. In some instances, police have penalized Romani victims for committing illegal acts as a result of being trafficked, such as being forced to engage in petty theft. Furthermore, in those countries in which governments rely on victims to self-identify, this mistrust can result in disproportionately small numbers of Romani victims identified, which can contribute to continued exploitation of victims. The lack of formal victim identification may also lead to an absence of protection services, which in turn can result in increased vulnerability to re-trafficking.

Some policy recommendations to address the needs of Romani victims of human trafficking include:

  • Governments should include full and effective participation of Romani communities and organizations in anti-trafficking bodies, including anti-trafficking law enforcement and victim identification groups.
  • Trafficking prevention campaigns and efforts should be targeted to Romani communities, particularly those that are segregated and socially excluded.
  • Governments should improve access to prevention and protection services, such as public awareness campaigns for communities and law enforcement, and adequate shelters, legal and social services, and vocational assistance.
  • Law enforcement should not impose criminal liability on trafficking victims, including Romani, for crimes they were forced to commit.
  • Anti-trafficking policies should explicitly recognize the Romani as a vulnerable group.

Somalia OFFICE TO MONITOR AND COMBAT TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS

Somalia

OFFICE TO MONITOR AND COMBAT TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS
Special Case

Somalia remains a Special Case for the twelfth consecutive year. During the reporting period, the Federal Government of Somalia (FGS) controlled Mogadishu, but had limited influence outside the capital city. The self-declared independent Republic of Somaliland and semi-autonomous Federal State of Puntland retained control of security and law enforcement in their respective regions. In August 2013, federal officials and Jubaland regional leaders agreed to establish the Interim Juba Administration in southern Somalia. The FGS focused on capacity-building and securing Mogadishu and government facilities from attacks by the al-Qaeda-affiliated terrorist organization al-Shabaab, which retained control of many rural areas in southern and central Somalia. The African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) commenced a new round of military operations in early March 2014 to recover al-Shabaab-controlled territory. The government possessed minimal capacity to investigate and prosecute most crimes, including human trafficking. In addition, officials across Somalia generally lacked an understanding of trafficking crimes, which they often conflated with smuggling. Justice was primarily provided through military courts. Civilian courts remained limited in number and capacity but functioned during the year. Many Somalis continued to rely on the traditional justice system. Due to capacity constraints, Somali authorities struggled to address human trafficking, yielding minimal results in terms of prosecution, protection, and prevention efforts in all regions.

Scope and Magnitude: Somalia is a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking. Information regarding trafficking in Somalia remains extremely difficult to obtain or verify. Victims are reportedly primarily trafficked within the country from Somalia’s southern and central regions to the regions of Puntland and Somaliland in the north. In Somaliland, women act as recruiters and intermediaries to take victims to Puntland State, Djibouti, and Ethiopia for domestic servitude or sex trafficking. Somali women and girls may also endure sex trafficking in Garowe, Las Anod (Sool region), and pirate towns such as Harardheere. Pirates also use children aged 15 to 17 to carry out their illegal activities. Although pirate groups continued to decline in numbers and influence in 2013, stakeholders indicated that these criminal groups turned towards human smuggling and trafficking as alternative income sources. In Somali society, Somali Bantus and Midgaan remain marginalized and sometimes kept in servitude by more powerful Somali clan members as domestic workers, farm laborers, and herders. Due to poverty and an inability to provide care for all family members, some Somalis willingly surrender custody of their children to people with whom they share familial ties and clan linkages; some of these children may become victims of forced labor or sex trafficking. Most child laborers work within their own households or family businesses. Somalia remains a predominantly pastoral and nomadic society, with only 30 percent of children estimated to attend school. Children may be forced into labor in agriculture, domestic work, herding livestock, selling or portering khat (a mild narcotic), crushing stones, or in the construction industry.

Somalia has more than 1.1 million internally displaced persons (IDP) within its territory. “Gatekeepers” in control of some IDP camps reportedly force girls and women to provide sex acts in exchange for food and services available within the camps. At times, they charge rent or fees for otherwise-free basic services and sell the area they control within a camp to other “gatekeepers,” establishing a cycle of debt for IDPs that makes them vulnerable to inherited bondage. Additionally, displaced persons in camps or congregated along coastal areas and seeking to be smuggled to nearby African countries, Europe, or the Middle East remain particularly vulnerable to trafficking. Traffickers reportedly prey on young women and children, mostly IDPs from southern and central Somalia, at marketplaces and in the streets, falsely promising them lucrative jobs outside Somalia. IDPs within these camps claimed that clan, regional, and government armed forces, as well as al-Shabaab, recruited from these camps.

Traffickers smuggle Somali women, sometimes via Djibouti, to destinations in the Middle East, including Yemen and Syria, where they frequently endure domestic servitude or forced prostitution. Somali men experience conditions of forced labor as herdsmen and workers in the Gulf states. Traffickers smuggle children to Saudi Arabia through Yemen and then force them to beg on the streets. Reports of human smuggling remain geographically widespread in Somalia, including along its long coastline. Reports suggest that traffickers use the same networks and methods as those used by smugglers. Dubious employment agencies facilitate human trafficking by targeting individuals desiring to migrate to the Gulf states or Europe for employment. Migration via Puntland and Yemen to Saudi Arabia appeared less viable in 2013 due to Saudi Arabia’s strengthened border enforcement and the forced return of tens of thousands of reportedly illegal migrants. NGOs and international organizations reported that Somalis increasingly sought to move to other destinations in Africa, including Kenya and South Africa. Authorities in Somaliland reported an increase in the smuggling or kidnapping of children and unemployed university graduates, who later move through Ethiopia and Sudan and perhaps are held hostage by networks in Libya en route to Europe and other destinations in the Middle East. NGOs estimated 50 young people were smuggled out of Somaliland each month, some of whom may be trafficking victims. During the year, the Government of Tanzania investigated 14 Somali businessmen reportedly using forged documents to facilitate the smuggling of Somalis to South Africa and Europe. Members of the Somali diaspora use false offers of marriage to lure unsuspecting victims, many of whom include relatives, to Europe or the United States, where they force them into prostitution and domestic servitude.

Traffickers reportedly subject Somali children fleeing al-Shabaab and seeking refuge in Kenya to forced labor or sexual exploitation. Refugee children at the Dadaab and Kakuma refugee camps in Kenya may also encounter exploitation in prostitution and forced labor. Trucks transporting goods from Kenya to Somalia return to Kenya with young girls and women; traffickers acquire these young girls and women and place them in brothels in Nairobi or Mombasa or send them to destinations outside Kenya. Somali traffickers known as “makhalis” control the networks, but truck drivers also exploit these girls in prostitution.

The estimated 20,000 undocumented Ethiopians in northern Somalia remain vulnerable to trafficking as they seek employment in Puntland and Somaliland to fund subsequent travel to the Middle East. Traffickers smuggle Ethiopian women through Somalia to Yemen and onward to other destinations in the Middle East, where they subsequently force them into domestic servitude and prostitution. Ethiopian children travel to Somaliland seeking employment but may end up begging on the streets or vulnerable to other forms of forced labor.

Child Soldiers: During the year, the Somali National Security Forces (SNSF), anti-Shabaab militias, and AMISOM forces continued their offensive against al-Shabaab. The Federal Government of Somalia expressed full commitment to eliminating the use of child soldiers among the ranks of the SNSF and made incremental progress on the Child Soldier National Action Plan, including signing the standard operating procedures for children separated from armed groups in February 2014. The SNSF also promulgated a Code of Conduct that, among other provisions, prohibited recruitment of anyone under 18-years-old into the military services. Nonetheless, according to UN reports, the SNSF recruited or used children during the period of April to December 2013. In addition, reports indicated that Somaliland and AMISOM forces also allegedly used children for support during the year. Most Somalis lacked birth certificates. Without an established birth registration system, verifying claims of recruitment and use of child soldiers remained difficult, except in the most blatant circumstances involving al-Shabaab terrorists.

Throughout areas beyond state control, al-Shabaab frequently recruited children as young as 8-years-old for use by its militias through abduction or deception. This terrorist group continued forced recruitment at both Koranic schools and other educational facilities, and punished teachers and parents who refused to send their children to its training camps. Recruitment also took place in IDP and Kenya-based refugee camps. Al-Shabaab continued to use children for direct participation in hostilities and other support functions in southern and central Somalia, including for planting roadside bombs and other explosive devices, serving as human shields during incursions, carrying out assassinations, providing intelligence, portering, and working in domestic service or in raising cash crops. The UN reported al-Shabaab’s recruitment, from April to September 2013, of over 178 children, including through abduction. Al-Shabaab also forcibly recruited young girls and forced them to “marry” al-Shabaab militia leaders; the girls were subsequently exploited in sexual servitude and used for logistical support and intelligence gathering.

Government Efforts: Somaliland and Puntland authorities made efforts during the reporting period to combat trafficking. Due to capacity constraints and the ongoing campaign to degrade al-Shabaab and secure Mogadishu, the FGS lacked trafficking awareness, proper training, resources, and the ability to effectively prosecute trafficking offenses, protect victims, or prevent the crime. The pre-1991 penal code (applicable at the federal and regional levels) outlaws forced labor and other forms of trafficking in persons. Article 455 prohibits and penalizes slavery, prescribing penalties of five to 20 years’ imprisonment. Article 464 prohibits forced labor, prescribing penalties of six months’ to five years’ imprisonment. Article 457 prohibits the transferring, disposing, taking possession, or holding of a person, and prescribes penalties of three to 12 years’ imprisonment. All of these penalties appear sufficiently stringent. Article 408(1) prohibits compelled prostitution of a person through violence or threats, prescribing penalties of two to six years’ imprisonment, which appears sufficiently stringent but not commensurate with those prescribed for other serious crimes, such as rape. The constitution, which remains provisional until the holding of a national referendum for a permanent version, prohibits slavery, servitude, trafficking, and forced labor under Article 14. Article 29(6) prohibits the use of children in armed conflict, and Article 405 prohibits all forms of prostitution. The Somali National Police retained responsibility for investigating and enforcing such laws; however, they remained understaffed and undertrained and—representative of the challenges across the judicial system generally—lacked capacity to enforce these laws effectively in 2013. The federal government did not investigate or prosecute trafficking crimes during the reporting period.

The Puntland State administration and Somaliland possessed functioning legal systems and some law enforcement capacity. In Puntland, the Ministry of Women Development and Family Affairs oversaw anti-trafficking efforts, and the police force in Garowe operated an anti-trafficking unit, though it lacked proper training. Provisions under Islamic law in Puntland criminalize the murder of smuggled or trafficked persons, prescribing penalties of between one and five years’ imprisonment. In March 2013, Puntland police intercepted seven girls kidnapped from south-central Somalia destined for Hargeisa, Somaliland, for unknown purposes; the police arrested the two men transporting the girls, although the resolution of this case remained unknown at the close of the reporting period.

Laws in Somaliland prohibit forced labor, involuntary servitude, and slavery. The Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs in Somaliland operated a specialized unit to respond to suspected trafficking cases, and police and immigration officers played an active role in anti-trafficking efforts. Somaliland officials made efforts to convict human smugglers—including those potentially intending to exploit migrants in forced labor or sex trafficking upon their final destination. In November 2013, Somaliland officials arrested four Somaliland military personnel for the alleged smuggling of 11 Somalis from south-central Somalia into Ethiopia. Officials did not provide additional details on this case, including whether these adults appeared destined for forced labor at their final destinations. In addition, in April 2013, a Somaliland court in Gabiley sentenced nine men, convicted of human trafficking, to between three to six months’ imprisonment; although officials reported that these men participated in a network moving Somalis to Libya and other destinations, it remained unclear if the workers who were being smuggled were intended for exploitation upon arrival.

No governmental entity utilized formal procedures for the proactive identification of victims; however, in 2013, officials from Puntland and Somaliland continued to develop a referral process to guide officials in transferring trafficking victims detained, arrested, or placed in protective custody to NGOs that provided care. No governmental entity provided protective services to victims of trafficking, although IOM and local organizations provided reintegration services to rescued trafficking victims in Puntland and Somaliland. Neither the federal government nor the regional governments of Somaliland and Puntland provided financial or in-kind assistance to organizations assisting victims. In Puntland, IOM staff trained officials on victim identification and assistance procedures. These organizations also placed child victims with families for care.

The Puntland Ministry of Women and Children received the seven girls intercepted in March 2013 and conducted family tracing. In October 2013, Somaliland authorities worked with IOM and its donor-supported Migration Response Center in Hargeisa to establish a mobile health clinic for the IDPs surrounding Mahamed Mooge settlement and a rehabilitation center for 150 street children. In addition, in June 2013, the Somaliland Ministries of the Interior and Resettlement, Rehabilitation, and Reintegration cooperated with Ethiopian immigration officials to assist in the IOM-funded voluntary return of 42 migrants stranded at the Migration Response Center in Hargeisa. Nonetheless, Somaliland officials appeared overwhelmed with humanitarian cases and illegal immigration from Ethiopia, which often hindered identification and protection of potential trafficking victims. Government officials provided no data clarifying whether children who involuntarily engaged in prostitution or the commission of crimes across Somali territory gained protection from charges of crime under Somali law. There were no legal alternatives to the removal of foreign trafficking victims from Somalia to countries where they may face hardship or retribution; however, government officials identified no foreign victims during the year.

Information on FGS efforts to protect trafficking victims remained limited. Since December 2013, Saudi Arabia has forcibly returned to Mogadishu 28,000 Somalis deemed to have been illegally present in Saudi Arabia, some of whom may have been trafficking victims. The Somali government cooperated with IOM to respond to this large-scale deportation and possible refoulement, but did not provide any funding to support provision of assistance nor reintegration programming. In 2013, UNICEF and officials with the Ministries of National Security and Defense developed referral procedures for the reception and handover of children identified to have been associated with al-Shabaab. FGS Ministers signed these standard operating procedures in February 2014. In addition, the SNSF cooperated with UNICEF to refer potential child soldiers to rehabilitation programs. The FGS, in partnership with UN agencies and AMISOM, developed and began to implement a comprehensive strategy for the screening, rehabilitation, and reintegration of al-Shabaab defectors; following immediate screening of children, the guidelines of the program require the children be transferred to UNICEF for placement in rehabilitation programs. The SNSF promulgated a Code of Conduct that prohibited recruitment of individuals under 18 years of age.

Authorities across Somalia made minimal efforts to prevent trafficking during the year. In 2013, Puntland authorities partnered with IOM to establish an anti- trafficking coordinating body and raise awareness. Given the reported increase in youth leaving Somaliland, in June 2013, the President of Somaliland established a seven-member migration prevention and job creation committee to stem illegal migration of Somalis. Officials also advocated for increased school enrollment and began cooperation with Ethiopia to intercept human smugglers. The Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs conducted awareness campaigns across Somaliland, engaging with religious leaders, youth, and civil society organizations. In 2013, the FGS began implementation of the UN-sponsored action plan to address the recruitment and use of child soldiers, signed by the former transitional federal government in July 2012. Overall implementation of the action plan remained limited—with inaction on key items, such as the creation of child protection units. SNSF officials and African Union doctors continued to use medical checks and interviews to screen for underage candidates during recruitment, though it continued to prove difficult to verify the age of candidates lacking a birth certificate or other documentation. In 2012, no funding was provided to agencies for labor inspections, and no inspectors were employed to enforce labor laws. Authorities across Somalia did not make any discernible efforts to reduce the demand for forced labor or commercial sex acts. Somalia is not a party to the 2000 UN TIP Protocol.

our CURRENT VICTIMS AND SURVIVORS

Updated 9th July 2015

Currently we have just over 13, 143 children and 260 adult victims

Children:

South Africa: 9,685 of which 200 is babies of the victims

United States of America 1,395

Various African children: 1,665

Various other countries: 398

Adult victims:

South Africa: 135

American: 40

Other African states: 85

Accordingly to African.org human trafficking can’t be a big problem, as there is only 248 official missing reports on children in South Africa accordingly to the SAPS at least 1,100 might be missing but classed as run away children.

So why do we sit with 9, 685 of South African children.

To break the South African numbers down by race:

Black South African children: 1,497

Colored South African children: 1,515

White South African children: 6,326

Other South African: 347

A lot of the children say there were more black children with them, but they get sold quicker, the sad reality is, on the black market a black child is sold for his organs very quickly, there race is in demand for organs, mutti and a lot of other horrible things, so a lot of them won´t be found.

OUr victims and survivors until October 2014

Our victims that we had up until October 2014 and that was reunited with families from the following places.

South Africa: 750

United States of America: 750

West África: 624

North África: 214

India: 1450

México: 1698

Central America: 2120

South America: 1894

China: 210

Various unknown: 725

These are victims that became survivors and ending them home was a safe option.

1000 adult victims, were given protection, and are now based over Mexico and is enjoying freedom and living live to us fullest.

Breaking down the South African victims:

300 was from Cape Town, mainly gang areas where gang crime is high,

200 was from Pretoria, JHB area.

125 was from Eastern Cape

125 was from Natal and rest of South Africa.

Our foundation relocated 15 families from the Cape Flats to a safer location as their children´s abduction was ruled gang related. People they knew where involve with drugs and making a family member as a trade seem to be the norm these days.

Our STructure

Our structure:

Our foundation is currently based abroad, and are dealing with a lot of African children that are traffic to other parts of the world. We work with any nationality, any race, adult victims, child victims, sex, child, labor and human trafficking victims.

Our safe house assist with educating the children, helping the adults to learn a trade and assisting in their legal matters regarding the trafficking. We also try and locate their families, which can be difficult at times, for the fact that not all police forces has missing reports on all missing people.

We are looking at operating a safe house or two in South Africa, for the victims that are found abroad and also for local victims in South Africa and surrounding countries.

We are also looking at the demand to start an EMPOWER THE LESS FORTUNATE in South Africa, the need by the amount of victims that are found is huge.

Armor of God came around in 2009, we were talking about our view of the youth and on trafficking. Not just for the sex trade but the murder of children for organs and various others trafficking needs out there. All of us, that are involve with the foundation, has been personally touched by trafficking. Dealt with victims and wanted to make a difference.

Some of us have rescue skills, and are using that to rescue children, or some of us use or medical skills, some is using their caring skills. Together we are making a difference, When we started we worked with adult victims mainly and we helped 2500 victims in our first year all over 18 and under 30. 200 victims left and went back to life on the street. The rest, got educated, found work and is progressing really well. The 200 dropped out at different times, and we discovered it is as soon as they have unsupervised internet time.

In 2010 and 2011 we dealt with a mixture of children and adults. We had a total of 5000 people come through our doors, 5 victims went to study for lawyers, some opened restaurants and others went to become teachers. Children went back to school and was reunited with families.

We discovered that roughly for every 100 people we help roughly 95 continue to be survivors. It is hard work, we started having in live in victim houses and becoming safe houses for children.

From end of 2012 we became a live in safe house that at the time could take 1000 victims, everything is done by volunteers.

We raise funds by attending 2 international festivals a year, and promoting anti trafficking days. We became involve with politicians that fight against trafficking.

IN 2013 we dealt with 100 South African victims of trafficking. It was a shock finding them trafficked through Mexico.

In 2014 our world turn upside down. We found a South African girl that was sold by her mother and 45 other children. Then another 350 South African children.

In April 2014 we became targets of traffickers hitting back to people who safe victims, lucky for us, with God´s Blessings, we did not get harmed, a few knock and bruises and threats but we live to tell the tail. But all our documents of our victims got stolen, only the documents that we received from the organizations that helps children. The silly people forgot we won’t keep important things on site.

Boy has God been testing us in 2014. By the end of 2014 we had 768 children in our care and only 5 staff. No real security. Then we entered 2015 with a lot of children and now we have 3012 kids as of today, 7thApril.

Our victims that we had up until October 2014 and that was reunited with families from the following places.

South Africa: 750

United States of America: 750

West África: 624

North África: 214

India: 1450

México: 1698

Central America: 2120

South America: 1894

China: 210

Various unknown: 725

These are victims that became survivors and ending them home was a safe option.

1000 adult victims, were given protection, and are now based over Mexico and is enjoying freedom and living live to us fullest.

Breaking down the South African victims:

300 was from Cape Town, mainly gang areas where gang crime is high,

200 was from Pretoria, JHB area.

125 was from Eastern Cape

125 was from Natal and rest of South Africa.

Our foundation relocated 15 families from the Cape Flats to a safer location as their children´s abduction was ruled gang related. People they knew where involve with drugs and making a family member as a trade seem to be the norm these days.

Updated 9th July 2015

Currently we have just over 13, 143 children and 260 adult victims

Children:

South Africa: 9,685 of which 200 is babies of the victims

United States of America 1,395

Various African children: 1,665

Various other countries: 398

Adult victims:

South Africa: 135

American: 40

Other African states: 85

Accordingly to African.org human trafficking can’t be a big problem, as there is only 248 official missing reports on children in South Africa accordingly to the SAPS at least 1,100 might be missing but classed as run away children.

So why do we sit with 9, 685 of South African children.

To break the South African numbers down by race:

Black South African children: 1,497

Colored South African children: 1,515

White South African children: 6,326

Other South African: 347

A lot of the children say there were more black children with them, but they get sold quicker, the sad reality is, on the black market a black child is sold for his organs very quickly, there race is in demand for organs, mutti and a lot of other horrible things, so a lot of them won´t be found.

We have Jewish children, Muslim children and various other religions, we don’t turn any away.

We have 98 that has already lost a kidney each and various others test that was done on their organs. Recent scars under 18 weeks old. Yet they were continued to be pimped out while having their organs harvested.

We have 352 pregnant girls (between the ages of 11 and 17), we have a lot of under 6 years old children.

Looking at the figures, the amount of people our foundation is made up off, we have to decide on how to make Africa aware of the problem facing their citizens.

We put our lives on the line every day, working with these children, rescuing them, taking them to appointments and court. We will continue to do so until they are all safe.

We are assisting ministers in South Africa, to look at certain areas in the law for these victims, so that they can go back to South Africa to a safe house, until their cases is concluded. This is only in the beginning stages.

Any help, even just prayer is appreciated, or just sharing to raise awareness, that is just as important, anything small help.

God bless you

Our HIstory

OUR HISTORY

What began as a group of friends with a God-sized dream and a passion for setting others free has now grown into a worldwide, Christian non-profit organization dedicated to rescuing and restoring children enslaved in the sex-trade.

Armor of God foundation story began with the founding family sitting down with friends pondering on different issues. They were all affected by Human, sex and child trafficking, that personally touched their lives. It got all deep and meaningful, it was a real God moment and the first time we all thought we could make a difference. God planted the seeds and the rest fell into place.

The family was personal survivors from trafficking and felt that God will give them the strength to deal with their own heart ache, by helping others.

We all decided to start a rescue and safe haven for victims, where God can lead the way on how to help them. God then decided to put child victims on the door of the foundation.

We are aiming to work on virtually every continent with one main purpose – to see sex-slavery end in our lifetime.

Through the 5 years various young adults and adults has been saved, now we are working with children and seeing them being saved and the joy to see them being children again.

Our eyes has been opened to how our home countries are effected by trafficking and their denial in dealing with the problem.

And as long as sex-trafficking and child sexual exploitation exist in our world, we will continue to fight and be advocates on behalf of the enslaved and vulnerable.

This is our story – ordinary people with God-sized hearts that are passionate about setting others free.