U.S. Department of State 2002 Trafficking in Persons Report - South Africa

South Africa (Tier 2)

South Africa is a destination country for women, mainly between 18 and 25 years old, from other parts of Africa, Eastern Europe, Asia, and the former Soviet Union. South African women also are trafficked internally. Most of the women are brought to Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban, Pretoria and Port Elizabeth by trafficking syndicates for work in the sex industry. South Africa is also a transit point for trafficking operations between developing countries and Europe, the United States and Canada.

The Government of South Africa does not yet fully comply with minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. The government has directed its efforts to countering widespread sexual offenses, especially relating to abuse of children. South Africa does not have a law that specifically prohibits trafficking in persons but has other laws that could be used to prosecute traffickers. Under the laws that could be used to prosecute traffickers, most perpetrators would not receive jail time. They would be liable for fines of between $1,300 and $9,300 and for the cost of tracking, detaining and repatriating trafficked women. The national prosecuting authority conducts programs to improve treatment of victims, streamline prosecutions, and increase the conviction rate of perpetrators of sexual offense cases. A total of 500 prosecutors, police, magistrates and doctors have been trained in the specialized field of prosecuting sexual offenses, including trafficking. Twenty sexual offenses courts exist throughout the country, which are staffed by specialized prosecutors. The courts also direct victims to the appropriate medical and counseling services. The government publishes a quarterly bulletin distributed to all prosecutors updating them on the latest legal developments on sexual offenses cases. There have been few trafficking investigations and only one ongoing prosecution in the past year. Regarding protection for victims, there are no programs in place to help women who have been freed from a trafficking situation, although three government-funded rape-care centers exist in the country, which link victims to a network of service providers. Witness protection applies only to South African citizens. Most foreign victims are immediately deported, and thus cannot assist with prosecutions of traffickers. The government has not conducted any public awareness campaigns or other educational programs that would help prevent trafficking.


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