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FIFA World Cup South Africa 2010: Human Trafficking a growing concern

But it’s the activities happening off the field that have Sister Bernadette tuned into the south African nation more than ever before.

Sister Bernadette SangmaTalitha-Kum“There’s a lot of demand, demand for different types of services, work in restaurants, hotels but also sexual services that will be very much veiled.”

Sister Bernadette is part of the International Network of Consecrated Life Against Trafficking in Persons or Talitha-Kum. The fear is the international sporting event can lead to an increase in human trafficking for sexual exploitation in a place that’s already considered a hub for that type of criminal activity. The organization has launched a campaign to get the word out about the danger of human trafficking.

They’re taking the message directly to the most vulnerable by reaching out to them in schools, youth centers, parishes and through newspaper and radio ads. They’re sending out warnings across the continent and as far away as Thailand and Brazil.

Sister Bernadette SangmaTalitha-Kum“We are very much aware of the borders in South Africa, they are very very porous, people can come in and out very easily without control so that can facilitate trafficking bring young people very easily into South Africa during the World Cup.”

While its difficult to measure just how serious the threat is, the International Organization for Migration says anecdotal evidence suggest smugglers are stepping up their efforts.

Stefano VolpicelliInternational Organization for Migration“During the building of the stadium, for instance, our colleagues registered some cases of trafficking they found the people who were being exploited and they found behind the exploitation was also case of trafficking.”

That’s why, from now until the end of the 2010 World Cup, it’s important they to reach out to as many potential victims as they can.

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