Daily Maverick: South Africa’s missing children

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Originally Published at Daily Maverick

By Robyn Wolfson Vorster


According to Dr Marcel van der Watt, a former member of the Hawks with almost 20 years’ experience in human trafficking and organised crime, now from the National Center on Sexual Exploitation, “not all missing children are trafficked, but many trafficked children are missing”.  

Even affluent children, targeted online, are usually groomed and lured with currency, often someone willing to listen or give them affection. Van der Watt explained that while gathering criminal intelligence as a police investigator, he spoke to numerous pimps and traffickers who boasted about using social media to “work on” multiple girls at a time for recruitment into the sex trade. One of them boastfully mentioned “more than 70 girls” he was communicating with on platforms such as Facebook and Twitter.

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The Numbers

300+

NCOSE leads the Coalition to End Sexual Exploitation with over 300 member organizations.

100+

The National Center on Sexual Exploitation has had over 100 policy victories since 2010. Each victory promotes human dignity above exploitation.

93

NCOSE’s activism campaigns and victories have made headlines around the globe. Averaging 93 mentions per week by media outlets and shows such as Today, CNN, The New York Times, BBC News, USA Today, Fox News and more.

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