Lerato K and other celebs weigh in on human trafficking in SA
Editor's Note: Lerato Kganyago's claims on child trafficking in South Africa was fact-checked by Africa Check and was found to be incorrect. This article has been updated to reflect the corrected information by the organisation.
Lerato Kganyago tweeted that South Africa is on the 'tier two watchlist' for human trafficking, a classification by the US department of state. Africa Check states this incorrect as South Africa was upgraded to a 'tier two country, according to the 2020 Trafficking in Persons report from the US state department released in June this year.
Lerato's claim that at least one million children are trafficked in South Africa each year was also found to be "exaggerated".
"The closest United Nations statistic we could find was a Unicef estimate that 1.2 million children were trafficked globally in 2000. We have not found any other sources showing that the global body estimated as many as one million children were trafficked annually in South Africa alone," stated the report.
As reports of women being abducted and posters of missing women and children fill social media, celebrities Lerato Kganyago, DJ Franky and Lvovo have spoken out against human trafficking, and called on authorities to act urgently.
The #HumanTrafficking hashtag has been used over the past few weeks to help women and children become aware of the increasing alleged human trafficking hot spots all over the country, making it hard for people with influence to keep quiet about the growing crisis.
Lerato was one of the first to speak out, saying the issue is becoming worse in Mzansi.
"Every hour a child or woman goes missing! Some are lucky to escape, most never make it! Human trafficking is real!" she claimed.
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Every hour a child or woman goes missing! Some are lucky to escape, most never make it! HUMAN TRAFFICKING IS REAL!— leratokganyago (@Leratokganyago) September 14, 2020
South Africa is considered to be on the “Tier 2 Watchlist” for human trafficking. At least A MILLION kids are trafficked each year. Our government is not doing enough...— leratokganyago (@Leratokganyago) September 14, 2020
Lerato attributed her claims to a report by the non-profit organisation, The Borgen Project, on human trafficking in SA.
The Trafficking in Persons Report 2017 by the Office To Monitor and Combat Trafficking In Persons at the US Department of State listed SA as a tier two nation for human trafficking, defining it as a country "whose government does not fully comply with the Trafficking Victims Protection Act’s minimum standards, but is making significant efforts to bring themselves into compliance with those standards".
Lerato's tweets saw many people share their experiences of attempted abductions in cities like Pretoria and Johannesburg.
Musicians Lvovo and DJ Franky called on the government to put a stop to the scourge, while author Jackie Phamotse questioned why those in power had not actively participated in conversations about the matter.