Lies, Damned Lies and statistics: Unravelling SA’s child trafficking condundrum
by Robyn Wolfson Vorster
In modern society there are few things as truly evil as human trafficking, especially when it involves children, and Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba’s argument for those afflicted by the scourge is compelling. But his supposed solution has once again been called into question along with the statistical basis for the plan. It begs the question that if the minister’s strategy is really about solving South Africa’s child trafficking problem why, in a style reminiscent of ‘Saving Private Ryan’, is he willing to risk the lives and livelihoods of many for the sake of the ones and twos. While it is difficult to ignore the fervour with which he speaks, it is equally difficult to avoid the sense that his department is playing an elaborate game of Top Trumps with stakes that are appallingly high. Beyond the oratory, what does the research say about how to prevent trafficking?