Cherie recently undertook a trip to South Africa where the World Cup 2010 is due to be held, in order to highlight the problems of trafficking for sex and of how to raise respect for women
Cherie attended a conference in Pretoria and Johannesburg as Patron of Stop the Traffik and the Thare Maiche Education charities to raise the profile of human trafficking and to meet NGOs, charities and religious communities already working in this field.
Human trafficking is a worldwide problem, but the focus of this conference was to discuss how best to try to stop the inevitable trafficking for sex that is predicted to take place around the World Cup in 2010, following the same problems that arose during the last World Cup in Germany and arise all too frequently around Olympic Games venues.This is the darker side of any major world sporting event and there is already evidence of brothels being built near the stadia in South Africa.
Organised by Bishop Kobo, Cherie also had a meeting with tribal chiefs from the Eastern Cape, to discuss the possibility of highlighting the problems of trafficking for sex and of how to raise respect for women by using tribal rules to resist it.
Later Cherie met some young 'peer mentors' from Thare Maichi Education - boys and girls who encourage their friends to respect girls, to practice safe sex, to dispel the claims that having sex with virgins cures Aids, and to try to encourage monogamy. They discussed too how girls going "missing" seemed an accepted practice but one they were trying to stop.
A Symposium for invited guests already working in the field was held at the Residence of the British High Commissioner, Dr Nicola Brewer. Representatives of UNICEF, the South Africa Police and charities, NGOS and local charities joined together to discuss the problems . The outcome was a decision to cooperate more fully and exchange ideas. This is being taken forward, led by a coordinator by those involve.
The following day Cherie, Stop the Traffik and Thare Maichi Education met representatives of Soul City, a pioneering educative station which has a huge following to learn about their work. Their programmes are backed up by showings at Clubs and discussion groups and by, DVDs and literature,
The final visit was to "New Life" which is supported by Thare Maichi Education. Here, girls who want to leave brothels or who have been rescued from brothels are given the opportunity to educate themselves and hopefully eventually to return home. They performed a play which showed how girls working as prostitutes are paid by their pimps to return to their villages and recruit even younger girls by luring them into well paid "so called" bank jobs, for the sex trade. Many of the girls also mentor prostitutes and help them to leave the profession.
For more information about Thare Maichi click here
For more on Stop the Traffik click here