Nolwazi Ntuli, a criminologist, talks to members about child abduction and human trafficking

This week Ms Nolwazi Ntuli, a criminologist at the UKZN came to speak to the teachers about child abductions at schools. The workshop was quite informal, which allowed teachers to ask lots of questions and share stories and experiences.

Ms Ntuli described child abduction as the unauthorized removal of a child from their legal guardian. This could be by a stranger or a family member or friend. There are a number of reasons why both strangers and those known to the child would abduct the child. Strangers tend to abduct children for purposes of human trafficking, to keep the child for themselves, for sex sale, labour (sweatshop), warfare or for muti. For abductors known to the child, reason often stem for custody or relational difficulties.

Teachers can help prevent abductions from schools by ensuring and monitoring that only those allowed to fetch children from school are doing so. Teachers can also reporting suspicious cars/activities to the SAPS, they can teach children to say no and refuse to go with people they don't trust and they can have anti-abduction workshops with parents and learners. It is also helpful to report any abductions/missing children immediately to the network for missing children, the police and parents.

We at Sizabantwana would like to thank Ms Ntuli for giving us this very informative and interesting talk. Child abduction is a very pertinent and heated topic and it is important that teachers be aware and supported.

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