Daily Trust (Abuja)

South Africa: Rights Group Denounces 'Trading of Women' At South Africa 2010

London — A London-based human rights organisation, Women of Africa (WOA), has denounced plans by 'flesh networks' and some individuals to "sexually exploit and abuse African women" during the World Cup competition in South Africa.

The organisation said it was "very concerned to know that alongside preparations for the games, there are robust plans to traffic our vulnerable women and girls to South Africa for sexual exploitation during this historic world event for financial gains".

WOA's stance, contained in a strongly-worded press statement issued in London yesterday, is a reaction to an online publication which revealed plans by the 'flesh networks' to supply women and girls from various countries, including Nigeria, "to take care of the men" during the World Cup Competition.

"We condemn without apology and reservation the use of these games as an opportunity and excuse to sexually exploit and abuse African women and our girl-children", the statement said, and appealed to the South African government to act with urgency to protect the rights of women and prevent crimes against humanity being committed "in the name of World Cup enjoyment".

"International trafficking of women for sexual exploitation is an abuse of the rights of women worldwide as African womanhood cannot, and should not be used for the sexual pleasure of anyone, not during the games, and not ever", the statement added.

It said the planned shipment of women for the pleasure of men is unethical, unnatural and outlawed in the civilised world and should therefore be banned from the world cup games as part of the preparations.

The organisation appealed to those going to South Africa for the games to travel with their spouses or partners "to prevent them becoming accomplices in the abuse of women's rights, plus returning to their home countries with the HIV/AIDS virus and then blaming it on Africa."

It also advised African governments to tighten control of their borders to prevent the trafficking of women and girl-children into South Africa and other African countries that could be used as exit ports by the traffickers.

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