‘400 Zimbabwean children were smuggled not trafficked’

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Non-profit organisation, Save The Children, says it believes the recent attempt to transport more than 400 unaccompanied Zimbabwean children to South Africa was child smuggling not trafficking.

This after the Border Management Authority (BMA) officials said they intercepted 42 buses carrying 443 children under the age of eight at the border post in Musina, Limpopo.

The organisation’s Patience Joe says it’s likely that the children were being taken to visit their parents, who work in South Africa.

“So I think for us, the concern is exactly that we are saying these children were trafficked. So, I think to unpack what trafficking is – trafficking is the taking of children from a safe environment for exploitation. In this instance, we haven’t heard of any allegations of that which to us is appearing as child smuggling.”

“Child smuggling is the taking of children and bringing them into a country where they do not have the valid documents or the valid visas that are required by that country. Which in this case, is appearing to be so,” adds Joe.

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