Authors: Richard Obinna Iroanya

Keyword: human trafficking


The adverse impact of human trafficking on individuals, societies, countries and regions have necessitated legal and non-legal efforts being made at global, regional and national levels to combat the phenomenon. This article specifically compares South African and Mozambican approaches to countering human trafficking and provides a conceptual framework of trafficking. This does not entail a comprehensive evaluation of the effectiveness of South African and Mozambican measures in combating trafficking, but a content analysis of major provisions of their anti-trafficking legislation enacted in fulfilment of the obligations of the United Nations Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children of 2000 (Palermo Protocol). It is contended that the adoption of anti-trafficking legislation by these countries signifies a willingness to comprehensively address the problem. While similarities can be observed in provisions relating to prosecution, protection, prevention, national co-ordination and co-operation as well as international co-ordination and co-operation, certain differences still exist. These differences are observed in, for example, provisions relating to reporting and investigation of cases of trafficking. While fewer powers appear to be given to the Mozambican police to investigate trafficking cases, more powers are given to the South African police. Again, while the South African legislation makes provision for extra-territorial jurisdiction regarding cases of trafficking, the Mozambican legislation has not provided for this. Despite comprehensive provisions to address human trafficking, the anti-trafficking legislation of both countries contains certain weaknesses in areas such as the provision of guidelines for victim identification. These weaknesses, it is contended, will hinder effective implementation of the anti-trafficking laws. Against this background, suggestions are made for prioritisation of the campaign against trafficking through national co-operation and co-ordination, as well as bi-lateral and multi-lateral international co-operation.