In short, it is the buying and selling of human beings with the intent to exploit them, in order to make large profits or obtain some kind of free service or labour.
The legal definition is set out in Chapter 2 of the Prevention and Combating of Trafficking in Persons Act 7 of 2013, but in essence three elements are required to be present and proven in order to have a case of Human Trafficking: Act, Means and Purpose. The latter is the exploitation, or intent to exploit, and comes in many different forms.
In the case of children, only the Act and Purpose are required to prove a case of Child Trafficking.
We are mandated by the Prevention and Combating of Trafficking in Persons (PACOTIP) Act 7 of 2013 to report any suspicion or knowledge of Human Trafficking, to the South African Police Services (SAPS).
We also encourage you to call the matter in to the Human Trafficking Hotline 0800 222 777 for accountability purposes: If you received assistance at station level and you have an enquiry number, OB number or CAS number, also share this with the Hotline Call Specialist who will then simply assist with follow up and ensure that the correct Provincial role players have been activated, in line with the PACOTIP Act and national Standard Operating Procedure for Integrated Assistance to Victims of Trafficking. If you were unable to obtain assistance at the station, please provide details to the Hotline Call Specialist including police station, name and rank of the officer you engaged with, and any other relevant details, along with details of your suspicion or knowledge of Human Trafficking.
The Salvation Army also have a Human Trafficking helpline on 08000 73728.
Yes, we can. The NFN has a set of research requirements that need to be met prior to allowing access to the relevant stakeholders you might require for your research. Once our Research Coordinator is satisfied that the requirements have been met, the NFN Team will then work to connect you with the relevant stakeholders required for your research. Please note that we do not connect anyone directly with victims, survivors or safe houses; your written request will be sent to them, with the option for them to contact you directly should they wish to take part.
It is a global challenge to garner accurate statistics on Human Trafficking, due to many factors including the fact that it is a crime that often hides behind the front of legitimate business or traditional cultural practice; it is often confused, especially initially, with other crimes such as domestic violence, kidnapping, rape and prostitution; victims live in fear and won’t come forward or assist law enforcement etc.
Over the years, stats in SA have varied between Departments, depending on the nature of their involvement and angle of their role in the counter-Trafficking process. However we now have a national data collection tool in place, which will assist going forward.
Statistics can also be garnered from the national Human Trafficking Hotline 0800 222 777 who are able to release stats and info based on the calls they receive in.
First, educate yourself. There are incredible resources available and you should take some time to really learn more about Human Trafficking prior to getting involved. The SA Counter-Trafficking Resource Library is one starting point with available resources.
Once you know more, consider how you might get involved on a day to day basis as an individual and with regards to your own personal choices, activities and practices: anyone can be an Everyday Abolitionist and conscious consumer.
Lastly, there are many great organisations working against Human Trafficking with whom one can volunteer or work. Be realistic and honest in terms of what you want, need and are able to offer: for example, are you looking to volunteer or intern, or do you require a paid position? How many hours do you have available? How might you use your talents and skills; what you are passionate about, and how you might possibly use that to contribute in some way?
We recommend that you first look into what organisations are already operational in your city and province. We do not encourage re-inventing the wheel, and if there is an organization with a similar vision and mission to what you have, consider joining them and strengthening the work already being done, rather than starting from scratch.
If however you are still keen to begin something new – especially something that fills a gap area – please do reach out and we would be happy to journey with you in the exploration of various options.
There is an application process for anyone wanting to join the Network as a professional individual or as an organization. Please contact us at to receive the requirements and application process details.
NFN has a strict policy against sharing contact details of victims and survivors. However we are able to circulate your request, and should any survivors be interested, they can then contact you directly to further discuss. There are also some great resources for media personnel with regards to reporting on Trafficking matters. Please contact us should you like to receive these.
NFN has a strict policy against sharing contact details of victims and survivors. However we are able to circulate your request, and should any survivors be interested, they can then contact you directly to further discuss. We also have a set of Guidelines for Survivor Speakers which contain pertinent information for both survivors and those making the request to interview a survivor; please contact us should you require a copy of this.
The SA Government signed and ratified the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons (Palermo Protocol) in 2004.
The Prevention and Combating of Trafficking in Persons Act 7 of 2013 was adopted in July 2013 and came into operation on 9 August 2015, and the National Strategy Plan was launched in April 2019.
There are Provincial Task Teams and Rapid Response Task Teams set up in each province, as well as a National Inter-sectoral Committee for Trafficking in Persons (NIC:TIP) and a National Rapid Response Task Team. These platforms are co-chaired by the Dept. of Justice and Constitutional Development and the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA).
Each key Department has internal directives, regulations, National Instructions and / or Standard Operating Procedures on Trafficking in Persons.
A Generic training manual and Sector Specific training manuals have been developed, with several members of the various key Departments and Civil Society having been trained as trainers, in the latter.
The national Standard Operating Procedure for Integrated Assistance to Victims of Trafficking was launched in December 2020.