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RAPID RESPONSE PROTOCOL FOR POTENTIAL VICTIM OF HUMAN TRAFFICKING

Information taking from:

  • Standard Operating Procedure: Trafficking in Persons: Victim Identification, Victim Assistance and Referral system
  • Meetings with KZN human trafficking task team
  • National Policy Framework for Prevention and combating Trafficking in Persons

Identification of potential and presumed victims of trafficking in persons is an authentic challenge for many reasons. To name but a few, trafficking tends to be a hidden phenomenon; trafficked persons are too scared to come forward or do not identify as victims and rights’ holders; stakeholders are often not trained on identifying and helping victims. Identification of a trafficked person can be a complex and time-consuming process because of the complexity of the criminal case or the time necessary for a victim to severe ties with their traffickers and exploiters, recover and speak out. Therefore, in many instances, identification is more a process rather than a result of a prompt act. Nevertheless, it needs to be carried out quickly and accurately to help and protect victims.

  1. Clues for Potential Victim of Trafficking or a Perpetrator:

(Refer to ‘ID human trafficking’ Document as well)

· Who does the talking?· In many cases, a perpetrator will attempt to talk for a victim. The last thing the trafficker wants is for the victim to talk to a member.
· Who is in possession of personal and travel documents?· Perpetrators often take control of the victim’s travel and other documents in order to exercise control over them.
· Who has the money?· Victims rarely have money. Perpetrators often have access to money. Inquire to determine who is in possession of the money.
· Who are friends with whom? What do people in a group know about each other?· In a normal relationship, people know each other by names and will be aware of personal information about each other.
· Is anyone injured?· Victims might have injuries as a result of exploitation.
· How did they get here?· Perpetrators use particular routes to move victims (long and round about routes).
· Why are they there?· Find out from the suspected victims what their initial expectations were, what they have been promised.
  • If you suspect a potential victim of trafficking:

Try gather as much information as possible including

  • the name, surname and contact details of the victim;
  • the location of the victim;
  • the age of the victim and physical description;
  • whether the victim is in any danger and the nature of danger; and
  • whether the victim needs to be rescued and whether there are other victims, if so, how many.
  • Assess the victim’s immediate needs for care and services.
  • Ask for their story, try write down what they share with you after you finish talking with them – names of people, places, any circumstantial evidence that could assist police in a raid etc. 

Contact or go directly to the closest police station in your area is your first point of call – police should use “Screening Interview Form” to assist with the profiling of the victims of trafficking in persons. A case docket should be opened.

The police should contact a social worker from Department of Social Development and they should refer victim to a registered place of Safety.

Open Door Crisis Centre in Pinetown is a registered place of safety +27 31 709 2679.

NB contact details :

If you can’t get to police station – you can contact the National Human Trafficking Resource Line – 0800 222 777 or report via website www.0800222777.org.za

Dawn Coleman Malinga – Head of KZN Task Team