Human trade to get red card

A CAMPAIGN to sensitise communities to human trafficking ahead of the Soccer World Cup is to be launched at Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit, Mpumalanga, today.

The initiative involves the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), Commission for Gender Equality (CGE) and 2010 Fifa World Cup Organising Committee (LOC).

The campaign is intended to kick-start various community activities to counteract human trafficking in South Africa.

"The aim of this campaign is to create an understanding of what human trafficking is," NPA spokesperson Mthunzi Mhaga said.

"During the campaign we will also share information with the community on the realities of human trafficking."

It was hoped the campaign would help the government to raise awareness among targeted communities.

The campaign would also highlight steps to be followed in reporting human trafficking.

Mhaga said (LOC) CEO Danny Jordaan and Minister of Justice Jeff Radebe would speak at the launch.

He said they had chosen to launch the campaign in Mpumalanga because Nelspruit was the only host city that shared borders with target countries Swaziland, Mozambique and Zimbabwe.

"This makes the province very vulnerable to human trafficking," Mhaga said.

"The choice of the stadium to launch the Red Card Campaign is informed by the link to the rules of soccer, where it is one of the harshest reprimands to which a soccer player can be subjected.

"This is the message the campaign wants to send to human traffickers: that they are not welcome.

"A red card had successfully been used in protests against gender- based violence and human trafficking - depravities that should be dealt with without mercy.

"Volunteers will conduct face-to-face information sharing with community members."