CHEAP LIVES: Countering human trafficking - considerations and constraints

  • Chandré Gould Institute for Security Studies
Keywords: human trafficking, South Africa, legislation


In May 2006 the South African Law Reform Commission released a discussion paper and draft legislation on human trafficking for public comment by the end of June this year. In order to successfully identify, investigate and prosecute cases of trafficking, law enforcement agencies need a clear understanding of what constitutes trafficking. But human trafficking is a slippery concept – frequently confused with human smuggling or used as a blanket term for the sexual exploitation of women and children. In evaluating national and international research on the issue, this article finds that understanding the extent and nature of the problem is complicated, not only by contending definitions, but also by the lack of representative data about trafficking nationally and internationally.

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