This is the story of a young woman, the world is her oyster and her life should be carefree, but she doesn’t have a job and she can’t seem to find one. She meets a great guy one night in a club and they click instantly. A whirlwind week follows of what seems like a “meant to be” romance. He even knows someone who has a job for her. She gets on a bus to Cape Town without hesitation. She meets his friend at the bus station as planned. But when she arrives at his house she realises quickly that is not going to be what she expected. The house is full of women, and some girls, there is open alcohol and lines everywhere. A girl looks at her with a numb expression. She tries to turn around and leave but he pulls a knife on her. He tells her “shut up, take a shower, and put these clothes on”. The clothes suggest that the “job” she will be doing is too shameful to say out loud. Fast forward a few weeks. It’s the hour of night that girls like her should not be out alone. But she lights up a cigarette on the street corner waiting for her next “client”. A few hours later the “client” throws the cash he owes her on the bed and she walks out. She walks down the street to that guy, her pimp. She gets into the car as a couple cross the street next to her. They lock eyes for a moment. She beckons them to see her cry for help. They stop, they look again...Can they see her?
Victor, a 12 year old boy is playing soccer with his friends. It’s what they do most afternoons until it gets too dark to see the ball. It was a normal day by any other measure, until a white bakkie pulls up alongside the game. “Do you want to go to trials?”, the figure in the driver’s seat asks. Of course, that’s the dream. So Victor and his friends jump in, excited, heading towards a future as the newest signed players of that soccer club they all love in South Africa. A few weeks later Victor’s friend wakes him, asking for water. He scoops it out of the dirty bucket next to him and hands it to his friend. How did they even end up here? They are in a room packed full of people, not allowed to leave, barely given any food. During the day he works in a warehouse with no air. They make clothes. All day. It’s never ending. The boss brings in a man. He is dressed well, he must be a buyer. He seems to notice that something is not right here. Please look up, please look up. Victor catches his eye, pleading for help. The man walks by as Victor wonders, did he see me?
Frisco feels like he has been waiting all day. The wait is endless, will they get work or will this be another wasted day sitting outside this factory? The hours tick by and it is starting to feel hopeless until that white bakkie pulled up. This was it, maybe this man had work for a few weeks, he is talking about a factory South Africa, done. Easy as that. Frisco and his friends jump on the bakkie and drive towards what they believe is a much needed breakthrough.
The bakkie crosses the border and there was definitely and exchange of money, Frisco tries to shake off the anxious feeling that is creeping in. But when they arrive at the factory in South Africa and a Chinese man starts shouting at them in what must his language, he realises this in fact is not the dream, but a nightmare.
It has been 3 months, Frisco sits alongside a young boy He can’t be older than 12. The room is full of people just like them, sweating, as they rush to make the garments. The boss brings in a buyer. He is well dressed and seems to notice that something is not right here. Please look up, please look up. He catches Frisco’s eye…but did he see him?
A young girl hangs washing, visibly upset and covered in bruises. Her neighbour, Agreement, pauses on her way up to her door. Agreement often hears the shouts and screams coming from the apartment this girl lives in. She wonders if this girl is enduring the same horror that she did years before.
Agreement had a happy childhood with her mom in Eastern Cape. One day her uncle who lived in the city called, promising to look after Agreement and help her to get an education. A dream come true for Agreement, she reluctantly left her mom for the big city. Things quickly turned when her uncle and aunt made it clear that education was never the plan. She was beaten and broken down, made to do all the house work and sexually abused by her uncle. Life was a nightmare for those years, she couldn’t leave the house and every time her mom called, her aunt would make sure she didn’t tell her the truth. Seeing this young girl hanging washing outside brought the memory of those years flooding back. Could this be what was happening to this girl right now?
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Managed by: A21's National Human Trafficking Hotline/em>
For more information, visit: https://www.0800222777.org.za/
Can You See Me? exists to bring awareness to the millions of men, women, and children who are currently trapped in slavery across the world.
Slavery is a hidden crime yet it is happening in plain sight. Victims of this atrocity are all around us, in our neighbourhoods, local spaza shops, in the same aisle of the grocery story, making our clothes in the factory down the road. We just don’t know how to recognise them.
In response to cases and statistics identifed through the National Human Trafficking Hotline (operated by A21 South Africa) since its inception in 2016, Can You See Me? highlights three particular types of slavery. Domestic Servitude, Sexual Exploitation and Forced Labour. These can be used to educate members of the public on common scenarios where victims may be found as well as exposing methods by which they themselves may be lured. Our aim is to not only help people understand the issue but also equip them to do something about it.
By partnering with law enforcement, governments, businesses, and NGOs our goal is to turn awareness into action. We hope that through collective action, human trafficking identification and rescue will increase, thereby making it more difficult for traffickers to operate.
1. There are millions of slaves in the world today. I’m standing with @A21 because together, you and I can do something about it. If you suspect it, report it. @SATraffickingHotline - 0800 222 777. A21.org/CanYouSeeMe #CanYouSeeMe #A21
2. Modern-day slavery still exists. If you suspect it, report it. Learn how through @A21 or visit A21.org/CanYouSeeMe. @SATraffickingHotline - 0800 222 777. #CanYouSeeMe #A21
3. I’m partnering with @A21 + #CanYouSeeMe to raise awareness for modern-day slavery. Together, we can see an increase in identification, reporting, and assistence. If you suspect it, report it: @SATraffickingHotline - 0800 222 777. A21.org/CanYouSeeMe #A21
4. Slavery is still happening in our world today. But you and I actually have the power to change that. @A21 just launched #CanYouSeeMe, a global campaign that equips people everywhere to recognize indicators of human trafficking and to report any suspicions. With the steps we take together, we can see slavery abolished in our lifetime. @SATraffickingHotline - 0800 222 777. A21.org/CanYouSeeMe #A21