Monday, 24 May 2010

Statement on Human Trafficking in advance of the World Cup

The following statement was issued today.

Anglican Archbishop of Cape Town thanks those addressing human trafficking ahead of the FIFA World Cup

I wholeheartedly endorse the preparations made by South Africa’s civil society organisations, following the announcement made in 2006 that we would host the FIFA World Cup 2010, to address the societal issues which accompany such global events, regardless of location.

Chief among these concerns is human trafficking, which parts of civil society have worked hard to address ahead of the World Cup. Workshops have been held; teachers and students have been trained to recognise the signs of someone who is in danger from human trafficking; comprehensive legislation has been introduced into Parliament (and though, sadly, it will not be passed in time for the World Cup, it will nonetheless provide comprehensive protection and benefits in the near future); and organisations have developed programmes which provide safe spaces for children in the extended school holidays during the World Cup.

One such programme, developed by HOPE Africa (the Social Development Programme of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa), in cooperation with the Scripture Union and TUG (the Ultimate Goal), is the ‘holiday club’ which encourages churches and schools, in partnership with volunteers, to use their facilities to provide safe spaces, meals and interesting activities for children aged 6 to 13. The programme is being piloted in the Diocese of False Bay in the Western Cape. At present over 70 clubs are planned, offering safe space for more than 5000 children. I also want to commend the Peninsula School Feeding Association, with whom the Anglican Church has had a longstanding relationship for over 35 years, for their support of the ‘holiday club’ programme.

The format for this programme has been circulated to all the dioceses of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa, so that, wherever appropriate, it can be implemented country-wide. It can also be adapted for use in conjunction with other events.

I want to commend HOPE Africa and its partners for this effort, and for the other projects which have been developed around South Africa during the FIFA World Cup. We can never do ‘too much’ to protect our children from potential harm which takes from them their right to be children.

My hope is that the FIFA World Cup will be a time of joy and celebration of all that is good and wholesome in the sport of football and its enjoyment by football fans – and I invite everyone to join me in praying that this may indeed be so, in the words at the end of this statement. May we all extend to our many visitors and fellow citizens the welcoming spirit of ubuntu – and make ourselves truly proud to be South Africans.

The Archbishop's Prayer

God bless the 2010 World Cup:

bless those who compete, and those who watch,

bless those who host, and those who visit,

and help all who love the 'the beautiful game'

grow in the love you have given us to share. Amen

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