Library of Congress

Law Library of Congress

The Library of Congress > Law Library > News & Events > Global Legal Monitor

South Africa: Anti-Human Trafficking Bill Proposed

(Mar. 29, 2010) It was reported on March 18, 2010, that the South African Department of Justice recently put before the South African Parliament the Prevention and Combating of Trafficking in Persons Bill. (Sarah Hudleston, Tabling of Human Trafficking Bill 'Not Prompted by World Cup,' BUSINESS DAY, Mar. 18, 2010, available at Although South Africa has fragmented anti-trafficking laws that are parts of different legislation, this bill is designed to be a comprehensive way of tackling the human trafficking problem. (Id.)

One of the objectives of the bill is to implement the U.N. Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, to which South Africa is a signatory. (The Prevention and Combating of Trafficking in Persons Bill 7 of 2010, ยง2, South African Government portal, (last visited Mar. 24, 2010).) The bill provides for the prosecution of traffickers and the prevention of trafficking of persons and for the protection of, assistance to, and services for the victims of trafficking. In addition, the bill establishes a Committee on Prevention and Combating Trafficking in Persons, with the mandate to develop a draft national policy framework on human trafficking. (Bill, supra.)

Under the following circumstances, the bill confers extra-territorial jurisdiction on South African courts for acts committed outside of South Africa that constitute offenses under its provisions:

  • if the suspect is a South African citizen or resident;
  • if the crime was committed against a South African national or resident;
  • if the suspect, after having committed the alleged offense, is present in South African territory (which includes South African territorial waters or a ship, vessel, offshore installation, fixed platform, or aircraft registered or required to be registered in the country);
  • if the suspect is an artificial person or partnership registered under the laws of South Africa; or
  • if the suspect is not extradited by South Africa or no request has been made for his/her extradition. (Id.)

Under the bill, the crime of trafficking in persons carries a punishment of up to life imprisonment. The bill imposes up to 15 years of imprisonment for using or benefitting from the services of victims of trafficking. The offense of facilitating trafficking in persons (which includes leasing facilities or advertizing information for promoting trafficking in persons) carries the punishment of up to ten years in prison.