CPUT’s Virtual Open Day is now open! Click here to visit >>>

Tuesday, 05 June 2018

Students fight human trafficking

DEDICATED: Ten EMS students are raising awareness about human trafficking. DEDICATED: Ten EMS students are raising awareness about human trafficking.

A team of ten Emergency Medical Sciences students are helping to fight the scourge of human trafficking through an awareness campaign for high school learners. 

Second-year student Stacey-Lee Trilho Alcock said that for the past four years she has been involved in fighting against human trafficking.
She said that after discussions with Dr Navindhra Naidoo, acting head of the EMS Department, she and nine classmates decided to launch an outreach programme for schools to raise awareness among learners about human trafficking.

The students are working with an anti-human trafficking organisation, A21, which aims to “reach, rescue and restore victims of slavery around the world”.
The organisation aims to reach the vulnerable and disrupt the demand, to rescue victims through identification and seek justice against their captors and to restore survivors and equip them to live independently.

Nationally the Social Development Department dealt with 220 cases of human trafficking in 2016, the provincial department of Social Development said in a statement last year.
The nine students are Lidia Strydom, Susan Coetzee, Ruan Coetzee, Raihaanah Thiart, Josslynn Killow, Mlungisi Dutywa, Athenkosi Bhusa, Matthew Denton and Zayd Fredericks.
“Initially we mainly focused on schools in the Bellville area but following requests from other schools we’ve now extended this area. We did our first presentation in April and to date, we have reached about 2 000 people,” said Stacey-Lee.

She said the presentations usually start by telling learners about the work done by A21 and explaining to them that human slavery still exists today.
“We also show them video clips, including the stories of both a trafficker and a survivor. We tell them about the strategies that are used to lure people and what they can do to help the situation, even with limited resources.”

Cornel Viljoen, South Africa Prevention & Awareness Coordinator for A21, said that students bringing awareness to peers has a great impact and motivates others to help take action.
“The students at universities are the future of this nation and will be approaching the working world after university. They are a vulnerable group due to the fact that they may be searching for part-time jobs or considering other opportunities in the working field. It is important for students to be able to identify falsework, education or internship opportunities so that they won't fall prey to the schemes of traffickers.”

The National Human Trafficking Resource Line is operated by A21 South Africa in partnership with other service providers and takes calls 24/7. The number is 0800 222 777.
Click the link to read more about the line: https://0800222777.org.za/

Written by Ilse Fredericks

Email: Frederickskennediji@cput.ac.za