Differences In Perceptions About Human Trafficking Between Victims/Witnesses And Non-Victims/Non-Witnesses In South Africa
Knowing the difference in the perceptions of human trafficking among victims/witnesses (group 1) and non-victims/non-witnesses (group 2) is important in educating the general population on the reasons and the ways of trafficking in humans. Therefore, this study sought to explore the difference in perceptions among these two groups. Data on the population who participated in the Victims of Crime survey conducted by the Statistics South Africa during 2014–2015 was used. More victims/witnesses than non-victims/non-witnesses agreed that free life-changing offers e.g. marriage for a better life (55% vs. 42%; p=0.006) and blackmailing (39.5% vs. 22.6%; p<0.001) were ways traffickers recruited their victims. There was no difference among the percentage of people who thought dealing with strangers on social networks was one of the ways traffickers recruited their victims and those who did not think so. A higher percentage of victims/witnesses believed that begging on the street was one of the reasons people were trafficked in South Africa (46.9% vs. 28.6%; p<0.001). This study’s findings showed that more victims/witnesses believed that free life changing offers is an important way by which traffickers recruit their victims and also begging on the street is one of the reasons victims are recruited.
Keywords - Begging, Human trafficking, life changing offers, South Africa