EDITORIAL: Mindset change needed in fight against human trafficking

A couple of months ago, Radio Netherlands broke the story of a young Ugandan man who had been tricked and found himself a sex slave. His account revealed that the practice was very much present at our doorstep and that it was not an isolated affair in some Middle Eastern or Asian country.

A couple of months ago, Radio Netherlands broke the story of a young Ugandan man who had been tricked and found himself a sex slave.

His account revealed that the practice was very much present at our doorstep and that it was not an isolated affair in some Middle Eastern or Asian country.

Many who end up in the sex trade do so by accident, others by their gullible nature. Human traffickers prey on the young people’s desire to emigrate to the west in search of greener pastures, but the latter end up being fodder for the multi-billion dollar sex industry.

While authorities say they were doing all they could to stem the vice, they cannot do it alone.

Their actions can only dent the practice because they cannot stop young people from travelling. What is needed is a widespread sensitization campaign to inform the young that the streets of the West are not paved in gold.

Parents should also be brought on board. Many are ignorant of what their children do once they migrate. They are content to know that their kids have “made it” because having a child living in some western capital has become something of a status symbol.

As long as the parent makes the monthly trip to the nearest Western Union office to collect the little money the child sends, all is well.

This is a mindset that has got to change. Life in far off foreign countries will always be a cherished dream for many and some may end up in brothels or candidates for cheap labour.