Washington- Congresswoman Kay Granger (TX-12), Co-Chair of the Human Trafficking Caucus, introduced a resolution, H.Res. 1412, calling on the Government of South Africa to expand law enforcement efforts during the 2010 World Cup to prevent the enslavement and sexual exploitation of men, women, and children. In addition, the Granger resolution applauds the Government of South Africa upon its first two successful convictions for human trafficking.
Beginning this Friday, South Africa will host the 2010 FIFA World Cup through July 11th and will play host to half a million visitors to the country and an estimated 2.7 million local spectators. H.Res.1412 urges the Government of South Africa to detain and prosecute tourists participating in commercial sexual exploitation of women and children during the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
In South Africa, aid groups estimate that 38,000 children are trapped in the country’s sex trade. H.Res. 1412 calls on the Government of South Africa to not only increase awareness among officials at all levels of government regarding their responsibilities under anti-trafficking laws, but also to prioritize anti-trafficking law enforcement during the 2010 FIFA World Cup through expanded law enforcement presence, increased investigations, and prosecutions in areas where trafficking crimes are likely to occur.
“I am pleased that the Government of South Africa has had its first two successful convictions for human trafficking,” Granger said. “We must continue to work to ensure that we protect men, women and children enslaved in this vicious cycle. Light is being shed on these disgusting acts against humanity and justice will be served.”
According to the U.S. Department of State, ‘South Africa is a source, transit, and destination country for trafficked men, women, and children. . . Children are largely trafficked within the country . . . to urban centers like Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban, and Bloemfontein--girls trafficked for the purposes of commercial sexual exploitation and domestic servitude; boys trafficked for forced street vending, food service, begging, crime, and agriculture . . .'
South African President Jacob Zuma has addressed fears about sex trafficking: "We have noted the concern amongst women's groups that the 2010 FIFA World Cup may have the unintended consequence of creating opportunities for human trafficking," the President said. "We are putting systems in place to prevent this, as part of general security measures that we should take when hosting an event of this magnitude."
“I applaud the Government of South Africa for implementing increased security measures to stop human trafficking while the world gathers in Johannesburg,” Granger said. “I hope this is just the beginning of a continued effort to stop a major human rights issue. With the Dallas-Fort Worth area hosting the Super Bowl in 2011, we should watch closely to see how the South African government fights these crimes. With Texas sitting on the Mexican border we already have serious challenges in combating human trafficking.”