Prostitution, World Cup link a myth

ACADEMICS say it is a myth that human trafficking and prostitution will shoot up during the World Cup.

Chandre Gould, a researcher at the Institute for Security Studies, and Marlise Richter from Wits University said it was unlikely that 40000 sex workers would descend on South Africa next month.

They said there was no increase in sex work during the 2006 World Cup in Germany - even though the media there had also carried stories about an increase in sex work and trafficking.

Richter said reports that 100000 women and children would be trafficked for sexual exploitation was also not supported by research.

Gould said nobody knew "how big the problem of human trafficking is in the country". But she cautioned: "We don't know what is going to happen, we have to wait and see."

Richter said they had embarked on a project where they would track 60 sex workers in Cape Town, Hillbrow and Rustenburg for four months - before, during and after the tournament - to see if sex work would be on the rise.