Human trafficking in the context of the development state
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Human Trafficking in the context of the development state. A presentation by Prof K Kondlo On Behalf Of Dr. Olive Shisana, CEO, HSRC 23 March 2010. THE CONTEXT OF A DEVELOPMENTAL STATE. The HSRC has a two year project which looks specifically into the issues of a developmental state in SA

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Human Trafficking in the context of the development state

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Human Trafficking in the context of the development state

A presentation by Prof K Kondlo

On Behalf Of

Dr. Olive Shisana, CEO, HSRC

23 March 2010


  • The HSRC has a two year project which looks specifically into the issues of a developmental state in SA

  • Two issues, related to the context of a developmental state that I will touch on and link to the theme of this conference

    • The meaning of a developmental state in South Africa

    • The two dimensions of it and how they relate with the strategies to combat Human trafficking in South Africa

Developmental State context

  • A penetrative state that works through processes of ‘co-operative extraction’ – ‘Collaborative Connections’ (Anthony Giddens) to deliver the best in society and economy – socially embedded

  • This is different from a state which sits over society – weak enabling powers but strong blocking powers

  • State institutional capacity – very key

Developmental State Context

  • Two dimensions seem very key to SA’s developmental state project

  • Social and economic dimensions

  • Social dimension – enhancing the quality of life of the citizenry through provision of education, health, rural development and other basic services

  • Economic dimension – maximizing citizen participation in the economy

Developmental State

  • An overarching framework to deal with

    • Crime, unemployment, poverty, rural-urban disparities, economic growth, social cohesion, a well functioning public service which can deliver public goods

    • Some of these problems – sources of human trafficking

  • But the developmental state cannot be everything

  • The lacking embeddedness of these ideal in the ideas of individuals; transforming the self

Human Trafficking: a challenge to all of us

Human trafficking …

  • Preys on the most vulnerable of our people

  • Exploits the special vulnerabilities of women and children

  • Worsens the impact of HIV/AIDS on families and society

  • Feeds income to criminal syndicates and gangs

The Project: Research for the National Prosecuting Authority’s

  • “Programme of Assistance to the South African Government to Prevent, React to Human Trafficking; Provision of Services for Research on Deepened Knowledge and Understanding of Human Trafficking and Provide Assistance to Victims of the Crime”

  • (NPA04-08/09)

Research for this report drew on a cluster of HSRC focus areas:

  • Poverty and rural development

  • Urban change, city strategies and migration

  • Equality, equity and governance

  • Justice and human rights

  • State capacity and development

  • Environment and land use

  • Infrastructure and service delivery

  • Tourism (including sex tourism)

  • South Africa in relation to Africa and the world

Our findings highlight the sobering facts:

Human trafficking is fed by the most fundamental problems now facing society and government:

  • Poverty and Inequality

    • Inadequate job opportunities, combined with poor living conditions, including a lack of basic education and health provision;

  • Political breakdown and/or economic dislocation

    • caused by armed conflict, environmental disaster, economic mismanagement, etc.

    • economic stresses leading to housing and food insecurity, loss of subsistence, and fewer public services

  • Family breakdown (particularly sickness/death of one or both parents)

    • HIV/AIDS

    • often compels remaining family members to send the children away from their homes to work and/or have better opportunities;

  • ‘Better life’ syndrome – rumours & dreams of a better life elsewhere

… and special risks confront women & children:

  • Vulnerability to the sex/prostitution industry

  • Gender discrimination in work and social roles

    • excludes women from other employment or professional advancement.

  • Traditional practices

    • arranged marriages, child labour, constricted roles

  • Reduced educational opportunities

    • makes women & children more vulnerable to false promises

  • Lack of legal and political protections

  • Children may work in areas that make them easy targets for traffickers:

    • commercial and agricultural work; car guards; taxi related work; street entertaining; vending; begging; criminal & drug-related activity

New risks may arise during the FIFA 2010 World Cup

  • Pull factors for people in poorer communities

    • People perceive new job/income opportunities at the event and are more vulnerable to the promises of traffickers

    • Domestic work – higher demand

    • Prostitution and drugs – higher demand

  • Parents send their children to the street

    • to beg for money from tourists

    • to sell curios, food and paraphernalia

  • School closures

    • will increase in the number of unattended children

  • Heightened opportunities for human trafficking may aggravate HIV/AIDS transmission

Findings show that the challenges in combatting human trafficking are the same monumental tasks facing the developmental state:

  • Reduce poverty and inequality

  • Improve the health and well-being of all citizens

  • Improve education - especially for women

  • Maintain communication between state & society

  • Build a professional civil service that provides effective service delivery and minimises vulnerability to corruption or collusion

  • Protect civil freedoms that ensure equality and genuine democracy in developing public policy

  • Ensure domestic, regional and global peace & stability

Thank you.Dr. Olive Shisana, CEOHuman Sciences Research

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