No clarity on child trafficking

14 July 2015 - 02:13 By Bianca Capazorio

The Department of Home Affairs says while statistics on child trafficking in South Africa might be contested, its visa regulations are aimed at all vulnerable children. The department was reacting to a story in The Times yesterday questioning figures cited by the department of 30000 children trafficked annually.Home Affairs had not responded to The Times's original queries about the article but yesterday departmental spokesman Mayihlome Tshwete insisted the department had not lied in quoting a figure of 30000, which came from children's rights groups.Home Affairs was aware that figures on trafficking were contested and had previously indicated this, he said.Various organisations cite different figures, ranging from 50 cases a year to about 45000.The department cited a figure of 23 trafficked children in South Africa over the past three years in a recent parliamentary reply."Child trafficking is difficult to detect but whether the number is five or 10 or 30000, there is no denying that child trafficking is a reality in South Africa and we can't tell the parents of trafficked children that their children aren't important."Tshwete said the regulations, which require parental consent and an unabridged birth certificate for travel with children, were aimed at addressing the requirements of the Children's Act and covered all vulnerable children including undocumented, unaccompanied and abducted children.He said the regulations were not simply responding to the statistics but rather aiming to prevent trafficking...

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