Human trafficking is a global industry and, if we want to defeat it, we need to confront it with a global, collaborative approach. It is for this reason that STOP THE TRAFFIK has developed the STOP APP, a mobile app that allows individuals from anywhere in the world to share their stories on anything they may have seen or heard relating to human trafficking, in a safe and secure place.
Last week, STOP THE TRAFFIK rolled out the initial stage of its first ever targeted pilot of the STOP APP in South Africa, which was selected due to the prevalence of trafficking in the country. Here, trafficking is happening on a number of levels; individuals are being trafficked internally, with children being recruited from poor rural areas to urban areas, as girls are subjected to domestic servitude and boys are forced to work as street vendors and within agriculture. People are also being trafficked into the country from numerous source countries, including Thailand and China, and become victims of sexual exploitation and forced labour.
To kick off the pilot, STOP THE TRAFFIK has launched a targeted Facebook campaign, in order to directly engage those who are living and working in South African communities that are vulnerable to human trafficking and its effects. Alongside this, STOP THE TRAFFIK is working closely with organisations, businesses, NGOs and individuals in South Africa to deliver a concerted, collaborative approach, which aims to educate individuals on how to spot the signs of human trafficking, explain the tools available to report suspicious activity and empower them to join the fight against this crime.
Therefore, STOP THE TRAFFIK urges you, whether you are living in, are visiting or have recently visited South Africa, to download the STOP APP and share any stories you may have on human trafficking. By working with you and with organisations in South Africa, STOP THE TRAFFIK aims to identify any potential hotspots or trends where people are most vulnerable to this horrific crime, and take the necessary steps to stop it, through collaboration.
The pilot in South Africa is an important step in creating a global picture of human trafficking; it is only when we piece together these stories from vulnerable communities around the world that we will be able to ‘stop the traffik’ for good.