“Question everything. Anything that seems too good to be true could get you into trouble. Whatever job you’re applying for – make sure you have all the information on the company, especially if it’s out of the country. Make sure somebody knows where you are at any given time,” Ots advises.
Tips from the Salvation Army include: travelling with contacts and an emergency plan – carry the number of your embassy in the country you’re travelling to and inform them when you arrive; provide family members with all your contacts and have them call your embassy, IOM or the police on your behalf should they not reach you. Travel with a copy of your passport and do not give your passport to anyone. And know your rights no one has the right to force you to do something or to keep you against your will. You may be in ‘debt’ to your trafficker, but it’s not a legal debt.
“Be vigilant. Do not trust any friendly strangers, especially around your children. In Cape Town people have started offering handshakes that are smeared with drugs,” Grootboom warns.
The South African National Human Trafficking Resource Line is 0800 222 777.