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What’s the third most lucrative illegal commodity after drugs and weapons? Human beings. Human trafficking in South Africa is real and it’s happening right now.

The shackles of the slave trade may be long gone, but tens of thousands of people in South Africa are still being subjected to modern day slavery right under our noses – and most perpetrators are getting away with it.

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The United States government says Ghanaian women are being forced into prostitution and forced labour in foreign countries, particularly in the Middle East.

According to the US State Department’s Trafficking in Persons Report 2013, Ghanaian women migrating to the Middle East to work are forced into prostitution upon their arrival.

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German Arms Go into Child Soldiers' Hands

Sunday, 16 February 2014 04:07

Michael D, one of the former soldiers, who is currently living in Berlin told the Voice of Russia that "we were mostly deployed for attacks. We were often the first to be sent into combat and had to dodge the flurry of bullets."

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Whether forced into fighting through fear and abduction or recruited by the attraction of desperately needed money, child soldiers are still locked in battle around the world.

12 February marks The International Day Against The Use Of Child Soldiers, otherwise known as Red Hand Day.

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Blood Diamonds? Africa has cleaned up its act

Saturday, 08 February 2014 10:38

Such criticism, they argue, are largely misplaced because the majority of African diamond mining and trade has turned clean years ago, and conflict diamonds - even as per the admission of the 81-member Kimberly Process (KP) - constitute less than 0.5 percent of the $1.2 billion annual trade.

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Two years ago, the documentary Chocolate's Child Slaves exposed the plight of youngsters forced to harvest the beans that make the chocolate we eat around the world. Many of the children made to work in the cocoa plantations in countries like Ivory Coast have never even tasted chocolate.

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Photo: Humanitarian Relief Foundation
Uganda police concerned by the number of youth stranded in human trafficking rings abroad (file photo).

Police are closing in on leaders of a Kigali-based racket of human traffickers whose activities threaten to turn the country into a source of girls and young women sold into sex slavery in neighbouring countries and the Middle East.

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They sell their bodies on the streets or in apartments, often because they're forced to do so. The problem is well-known, its dimension is not.

"There's hardly any information on child prostitution in Germany, because we don't have the knowledge, the facts and the numbers," Mechtild Maurer, president of the Working Group for the Protection of Children from Sexual Exploitation (ECPAT), says.

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President Jacob Zuma has signed the Prevention and Combating of Trafficking in Persons Bill into law, giving South Africa, for the first time, a single statute that tackles human trafficking holistically and comprehensively.

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Ethiopian communities in the Middle East have formed a union to fight the abuse and suffering of Ethiopian migrant workers in the region.

After a meeting in Addis Ababa on Monday, a memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed by representatives of Ethiopian communities in Jeddah, Riyadh, Bahrain, Dubai, Yemen, Lebanon and Qatar.

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