Thousands of prostitutes for World Cup

A news article from on the 4th March 2010. This story is from the sports pages and addresses concerns that the World Cup will lead to women entering South Africa to work in the sex industry. It is reported that the Central Drug Authority believe that 40,000 women will enter the country - many from Eastern Europe. UNODC are reported as questioning the source of the 40,000 figure.

Thousands of prostitutes for World Cup
4th March 2010

As many as 40 000 women are expected to arrive in South Africa ahead of the World Cup to work as prostitutes.

"Forty-thousand new prostitutes. As if we do not have enough people of our own, we have to import them to ensure our visitors are entertained," said David Bayever, the deputy chairman of the Central Drug Authority (CDA), on Thursday.

He was speaking in Pretoria at the release of the International Narcotics Control Board's annual report.

Bayever said the authority had been warned by the Durban municipality of the possibility of huge inflows.

"Someone informed the Durban municipality. They got wind of it," he said.

He added that many of the woman were likely to have been recruited from eastern Europe.

He also warned that the extension of school holidays during the World Cup would put children at risk of being lured into sex work. "Our youth are going to be on holiday. They are going to be targeted to become prostitutes."

The CDA is a statutory body that provides advice to the Social Development Department on drug and substance abuse.

Bayever said substance and drug abuse were intertwined with prostitution. Drugs and alcohol were sometimes used to keep people in sex work. "There's a correlation between drugs and human trafficking," he said.

Johan Kruger, the national project co-ordinator for trafficking at the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, concurred that there was a connection between sex work and substance abuse. However, he refrained from endorsing the estimate of 40 000 women entering the country. "I'm not sure where that comes from," he said.

He added that during the World Cup in Germany in 2006, many had expected human trafficking to increase. "It actually decreased because of the preparation of law enforcement," said Kruger.

He cautioned against too much focus on the World Cup because drugs and human trafficking had been present in South Africa before the event and would continue long after the tourists had left. "After 2010, illicit, organised crime will continue."

However, South Africa would face an uphill battle in combating trafficking of both drugs and people. Tackling the problem required co-operation on an international level. "It's very difficult to combat this crime if it's only addressed by one country," said Kruger - Sapa

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