Mmegi Online :: Safari lodges use Batswana women as sex slaves - report
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Last Updated
Thursday 20 July 2017, 17:11 pm.
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Safari lodges use Batswana women as sex slaves - report

A report by international trade unions has revealed that some Batswana women are forced to provide sexual services to tourists at some safari lodges.
By ISAIAH MOREWAGAE
Staff Writer
(GMT +2)
Mmegi Online :: Safari lodges use Batswana women as sex slaves - report








The International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) last week published a report on core labour standards in the Southern Africa Customs Union (SACU) countries of Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, South Africa and Swaziland.

"According to the USDoS Trafficking Report 2008, one local non-governmental organisation (NGO) received reports from Batswana women that they were forced to provide sexual services to tourists at some safari lodges. Usually with the hope of attaining better education and more opportunities, parents from rural areas give their children to better off families in towns. It has been reported that some of these children are later used for domestic servitude or for herding in remote cattle posts," the report says.

It also states that although the government encourages and funds training of law enforcement and immigration personnel in anti-human trafficking methods, a number of NGOs conclude that the local police do not pursue possible trafficking cases because there is no specific law against the crime. "Additionally no government agency has been designated as the leader in the fight against human trafficking. NGOs report that Botswana is a transit country for the trafficking of eastern African women and children to South Africa. Botswana is a destination for Zimbabwean women who are employed as domestic workers," states the report.

The report also says the law does not prohibit trafficking in persons which is dealt with instead by the Penal Code provisions against abduction, kidnapping, slave trading, forced labour, and procuring persons for the purpose of prostitution.

The report further states that even though the Penal Code of Botswana prohibits involvement of girls or

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women in production of prostitution and pornography, child prostitution has been reported particularly at truck stops and transit points in the large towns.

"However, the law does not protect boys from the same crimes. Other parts of the legislation that need to be revised, according to the International Labour Organisation (ILO)'s Committee of Experts on the Application of Conventions and Recommendations (ILO's CEACR), are the use, procuring or offering of a child for illicit activities, monitoring mechanisms, programmes of action, time-bound and effective measures and identification and reach-out to children at special risk", the report says.

It highlights that child labour exists in Botswana as boys are reported to manage cattle herds in isolated areas, sometimes staying without proper food and shelter for days, "whereas girls are largely involved in domestic labour, usually taking care of other children".

"Many children are reported to work in family businesses or in informal economic activities such as street vending and car washing in cities", the report stressed. The ITUC report is presented as the World Trade Organisation's (WTO) General Council, which reviews the trade policies of the SACU member states. WTO members are obliged to comply with basic labour standards in order to get free access to global markets. The report calls on all SACU member countries, "to improve the training of labour inspectors and law enforcement officials in order to identify and remedy cases of child labour, forced labour and violations of trade union rights, as well as improve the application of the penalties foreseen under the law".

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