20 August 2010
South Africa must work to retain the high level of community awareness and effective law enforcement that prevented an increase in human trafficking and women and child abuse during the 2010 Fifa World Cup, says Minister for Women, Children and Persons with Disabilities Noluthando Mayende-Sibiya.
Mayende-Sibiya said this week that the available information indicated that the predicted upsurge in human trafficking and other forms of abuse during the World Cup never materialised.
On the contrary, reports on the contingency measures put in place in all 2010 host cities indicated that children who went missing during the World Cup were reconnected with their families.
“The experience of the 2010 Fifa World Cup indicates that it is possible to minimize incidents of abuse through a combination of high community awareness, social cohesion and effective social and law enforcement services,” Mayende-Sibiya said.
“We need to retain the same high level of law enforcement, solidarity and the spirit of ubuntu demonstrated by our people during the World Cup.”
She said her department would use the build-up to the 16 Days of Activism for No Violence against Women and Children campaign to retain community awareness on issues of trafficking and abuse.
As part of Women’s Month, the government sought to tackle the various limitations affecting women’s lives in the country.
“Our programme seeks to reach women of different social backgrounds in their localities,” Mayende-Sibiya said. “We have met young women from universities to discuss issues of education. We have gathered with women from various churches and prayed together for a society free of all forms of abuse of women and girls.
“On Women’s Day, August 9, we gathered close to 30 000 women in East London, where they received an address from the President. We have debated issues affecting women at national Parliament and in provincial legislatures.
“We have met influential women in the private sector to discuss issues of the ‘glass ceiling’ put on women.”