While it is impossible to truly know the full scope and impact of human trafficking and slavery in Africa, we do know that women and children are the primary victims -overwhelmingly so for sexual exploitation but also for forced labour – however, men are not immune to this crime.
The extent of human traffickingis difficult to assess due to the hidden nature of these offences, the reluctance of victims and witnesses to come forward to law enforcement and the difficulty of identifying victims in practice. Moreover, these cases often go unnoticed and unreported due to manipulation, fear, threats from traffickers, shame, language barriers or mistrust of authorities.
As part of our longstanding commitment to protect the vulnerable, tackle crime and safeguard all victims from slavery and trafficking, we are taking action against these terrible crimes.
In line with internationally accepted best practices, we focus on five core areas.
AU Watch supports a broad-based prevention strategy focusing on awareness raising and research activities to prevent human trafficking, and how people can protect themselves and their families from predatory traffickers and their recruiters.
We investigate slavery and trafficking – following the paths of these criminals. We assist trafficking victims, promoting greater understanding of the needs of trafficked persons with a view to promoting their physical, psychological and social recovery.
To defeat the heinous crime of trafficking and slavery is a team effort. We continue to strengthen our relationship with relevant stakeholders, including the AU. We also collaborate to improve our ability to collect, track and report on data related to human trafficking in order to enhance knowledge and adapt our response appropriately, both domestically and on the internationally.
“Human slavery and trafficking are horrific abuses of human rights and impacts all of us. They are crimes. Defeating it must unite us all as a continent in the fight to protect our most vulnerable citizens.”