I am writing to express my deep concern regarding the potential impact of the 2010 World Cup on women and girls who are projected to be trafficked within and to South Africa to fulfill the demand for sex by soccer fans from all over the world attending the World Cup. The exploitation and violence endured by victims of trafficking are well documented and the consequences are brutal and far reaching ranging from direct physical injury to sexually transmitted diseases, unwanted pregnancies, drug and alcohol dependency and extreme psychological damage.
As a State Party to the Palermo Protocol, South Africa has an obligation to criminalize human trafficking, discourage demand that leads to trafficking and provide rehabilitative services to victims of trafficking. The Prevention and Combating of Trafficking in Persons Bill 2010 is a welcome first step in meeting South Africa’s international obligations. I urge you to take immediate action to pass this bill before the World Cup and to actively enforce its provisions during and after the World Cup to prevent the exploitation of women and girls and to provide redress to victims of trafficking.
I thank you for your attention.