The Salvation Army in South Africa says human trafficking is on the rise in the country and it appears that the country is fast becoming a hub for international and continental human trafficking. 19 Ethiopians were rescued in Mondeor, south of Johannesburg.

Police are investigating possible human trafficking.

The Salvation Army’s National Anti-Trafficking Coordinator, Margaret Stafford, says in some cases, people are kidnapped in their countries and trafficked into South Africa where they are held for ransom.

Stafford says the high unemployment and poverty rates in South Africa make our youth vulnerable to human trafficking.

“Cases of people being smuggled into South Africa and then being held ransom. According to the international labour organisation, we have more enslavement in labour than we do in sex trafficking. Human trafficking is definitely a crime that seeks out vulnerability. A lot of cases where young people have been trafficked overseas because they think they going to be working as a teacher or on a boat and they haven’t checked out anything and then they end up in brothels overseas. We have a lot of South Africans in the human trafficking scheme; we have slaves that come into our country destined for somewhere else and we have slaves from another country into our country.”