Response to Human Trafficking in South Africa: Beyond the Criminal Justice System
This article evaluates the efforts of the South African criminal justice system in combating human trafficking. The phenomenon of human trafficking has been a resonating issue of concern to the South African State. Several women, children, and to a lesser degree men have been entrapped in the web of exploitation produced via trafficking, in the country. Steps have been taken by the State to combat the scourge by enlisting human trafficking among crimes that require an effective criminal justice response, including the enactment of an anti-trafficking law for it to be combated. But then, instead of diminishing, the menace is still on the rise. From the findings of a broader doctoral study on â€˜examining human trafficking and the response of the South African criminal justice systemâ€™, using mixed-method approach, it was discovered (amongst others) that the South African criminal justice system cannot effectively combat human trafficking in the country. Specifically, the study found that the triggering factors that engendered the vulnerability and eventual exploitation of people through trafficking fall outside the scope of the justice system. Findings also indicated a strong linkage between failure of social institutions and a rise in human trafficking in the country. The study further make recommendations for an enduring approach.