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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Anti-Trafficking Legislation - A Waste of Time?

In this day and age when human trafficking is rife all over the world, it is difficult to understand how someone sitting on the Justice & Constitutional Development Portfolio Committee, representing the IFP, could suggest that current statistics on human trafficking suggests that anti-trafficking legislation is a waste of time. This man obviously has no understanding of the dignity of human persons and the fact that we as humans are made in the image of God. That we are made in the image of God cannot be quantified into statistics. Human beings aren’t just accidental numbers that make up statistics. Further, this man, Mario Gaspare Oriani-Ambrosini, has no idea of justice in society and fighting crime. If crime was merely about statistics, then why have certain laws, since the lesser crimes should not be bothered about. Crime fighting is not just about apprehending criminals and putting them in prison. Crime against fellow humans is an affront to God.

Of course, the question to Oriani-Ambrosini is, how much of any given crime must be committed before he would be willing to give time to it?

Anyway, please read the newsletter from FPI below.

Anti-Trafficking Legislation - A Waste of Time???
As the Justice & Constitutional Development Portfolio Committee continues its deliberations of the “Prevention & Combating of Trafficking in Persons” (TIP) Bill, some disturbing trends have emerged.

It appears not all the members of the Committee are convinced that the threat of human trafficking presents a clear and present danger to vulnerable women and children in South Africa.

And this may be a key reason why Parliament has dragged its feet in finalising this critical Bill.

During deliberations of the TIP Bill on 23 August, the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) confirmed they have prosecuted 34 human trafficking cases so far – and mainly for prostitution.

The IFP member of the Committee, Mario Gaspare Oriani-Ambrosini scoffed at these statistics and suggested that the Anti-Trafficking legislation is a waste of law enforcements time.

Ambrosini remarked, “I don’t know how generalised this crime is. 34 cases are miniscule.  It is a minor occurrence. It is a miss-allocation of time in fighting crime.”

Ambrosini is blatantly exploiting the fact that there is no specific law to prosecute trafficking in SA - making it difficult to compile accurate statistics. Ironically, this is what makes the Bill urgent.

Most trafficking cases are prosecuted under the Sexual Offences Act due to a lack of intelligence, training & proper legislation. The conviction rates for these crimes are unacceptably low.

Conviction rates for rape cases are also miniscule in comparison to offences. According to Ambrosini’s flawed logic, enforcement of rape crimes must also be a miss-allocation of crime fighting time.

Mr Ambrosini's bizarre hostility to the Anti-Trafficking Bill prompted ANC MP, John Jeffrey to enquire who he speaks for in the Committee. During previous deliberations of the TIP Bill, Ambrosini attempted to manipulate proceedings to get prostitution decriminalised via the back door.

Exactly who Mr Ambrosini is representing on the Justice Committee in Parliament is unclear. What is clear however, is his complete failure to accurately represent the will of the people of SA.

Despite overwhelming evidence of sex trafficking in SA, Ambrosini chooses to ignore the facts. Tragically, his actions in Parliament will only benefit organised crime & the sex industry in general.

Stop Trafficking of People (STOP) painstakingly compiled a dossier of media reports of human trafficking in SA for the Committee's perusal. However, this report appears to be overlooked.

The NPA’s prosecution of just 34 human trafficking cases says more about the overall inability of SAPS and the Justice Department to effectively investigate & prosecute serious crimes in SA.

There is currently very little intelligence gathering of human trafficking cases in SA. As a result of the efforts of SWEAT, law enforcement has generally turned a blind eye to the illegal sex industry.

Please write to Mr Mario Gaspare Oriani-Ambrosini at moriani-ambrosini@parliament.gov.za and inform him (in your own words) that the implementation & enforcement of laws that protect women & children from slavery are not a waste of crime fighting time - but its primary purpose.

Please also copy in IFP leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi at mbuthelezi@parliament.gov.za and Justice Portfolio Committee secretary Vhonani Ramaano at vramaano@parliament.gov.za

You and I must hold our MP’s accountable. Your participation can and will make a difference!


Errol Naidoo

P.S. Please forward this to a friend
Family Policy Institute
37 Roeland St Cape Town 8001
T:+27 (0) 21 462 7888
F:+27 088 (0)21 462 7889
E: info@familypolicyinstitute.com

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