Understanding Human Trafficking in South Africa: A Theoretical Perspective

Posted: 14 Jul 2010

See all articles by Job Dubihlela

Job Dubihlela

Vaal University of Technology

Date Written: June 3, 2010


The phenomenon of human trafficking is not new but comes as a different form of human slavery. It has been with us from time immemorial. It is present as an expression of human cruelty and greed. Though there is minimal empirical research on human trafficking, it has become a priority for contemporary (modern) policy makers in the fields of human rights, law enforcement, health, gender, migration and employment policies. It is the downside of globalization that yields a serious breakdown of basic social and community structures. African women and children are denigrated and commodified in the manner of human trafficking. The reasons for human trafficking are related to sexual exploitation, organized begging, forced or underpaid labor, ‘organ harvesting’ and many other cruel citations. The study is done in Johannesburg as the major city considered as the hub of human trafficking activities in South Africa. Emphasis was placed on young women (aged between 13-35 years) both foreign and local nationals who were particularly willing to participate in the survey. The respondents were identified from various South African deportee centers. The insightful study highlights some key factors and provides recommendations.

Keywords: Human trafficking, sexual exploitation, unpaid labour, human rights, South Africa

Suggested Citation

Dubihlela, Job, Understanding Human Trafficking in South Africa: A Theoretical Perspective (June 3, 2010). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1639361

Job Dubihlela (Contact Author)

Vaal University of Technology ( email )

Vanderbijlpark, Gauteng 1900
South Africa

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