Thursday, July 1, 2010

South Africa's SHAME !

Despite more than a dozen international conventions banning slavery in the past 150 years, there are more slaves today than at any point in human history! While most are held in debt bondage in the poorest regions of South Asia, some are trafficked in the midst of thriving development. Such is the case here in Africa's wealthiest country, the host of this year's FIFA World Cup. While South Africa has invested billions to build infrastructure for the half-million visitors expected to attend, tens of thousands of children have become ensnared in sexual slavery and those who profit from their abuse have prepared for the tournament as well....big time.

An investigation into human trafficking syndicates operating near two stadiums found a lucrative trade in child sex. The children, sold by their parents for as little as $45, can earn more than $600 per night. "I'm really doing good business during this World Cup," said a trafficker. He said he had already done a brisk business among stadium construction workers. Although its 1996 constitution expressly forbids slavery, South Africa has no stand alone law against human trafficking in all its forms. Aid groups estimate that some 38,000 children are trapped in the sex trade there. More than 500 syndicates (Nigerian, Chinese, Indian & Russian) collude with South African partners, including recruiters and corrupt police officials, to enslave local victims. The country's estimated 1.4 million AIDS orphans are especially vulnerable. South Africa has more HIV cases than any other nation, and a child sold into its sex industry will often face an early grave.

A UN Human Rights official stated that, "An exploitation-free World Cup will require resources and political will from the South African government." Such political will is not evident. At best, the South African government's response to child sex trafficking has been superficial or piecemeal, at worst. United Nation sources describe how police at all levels have been soliciting underage prostitutes in Bloemfontein, Durban and other World Cup cities. South African officials claimed that Parliament will pass a comprehensive law against human trafficking in early sign of it yet! Meanwhile, honest enterprising police officers who take on these traffickers do so with few legal tools at their disposal. Convictions for trafficking-related offenses typically bring little or no jail time. SHAME!

South African President Jacob Zuma addressed fears about sex trafficking and slavery in a speech last August. "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."

The Way I see It....Zuma's pledge was too little too late for many of those children. This is the douchebag that bragged that the way he beats getting AIDS is taking a shower after having sex with his mistress! I wonder what any of his four wives thinks of that and the other sex slaves that are in earshot of the sounds of the Vuvuzela coming from the stadiums. South Africans would be a lot healthier if its citizens had the same enthusiasm for condoms as they have for that annoying horn.

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