The erosion of human worth

All human beings should be treated with respect and dignity despite their social status.

All human beings should be treated with respect and dignity despite their social status.

People - young and old, rich and poor - deserve humane treatment from their fellow human beings.

Reports that sexual harassment and abuse, especially of young children on farms, is on the increase are cause for alarm.

A study conducted by the Rural Education Awareness and Community Health has established that sexual harassment is on the increase for both males and females, including young victims.

There are also shocking reports that one of the victims was raped by her employer, who then offered her R20.

This is outrageous.

Human rights abuses at farms are subject to continuing public debate - much to the chagrin of farmers' organisations.

Those who commit such criminal acts must appear before the law to answer for their despicable deeds.

For a long time now, farm communities have been trapped in a vicious cycle of violence characterised by attacks on farmers and their families; and ill-treatment, exploitation, sexual abuse and the murder of farmworkers and their families.

Not surprisingly, this has led to a high level of racial polarisation on farms - a situation totally out of kilter with the rest of the country.

If left unchecked, this situation will fester and poison our fledgling democracy.

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