Presentation Details

The Second International Conference on New Directions in the Humanities

The Role of Civil Society in Combating Human Trafficking

Dr Carol Allais.

Trafficking in persons is a fundamental and crucial challenge in the areas of human rights and law enforcement. ‘Human trafficking' is not a new phenomenon. It has a history and roots that go back hundreds of years. This new form of modern day slavery continues to become a global problem. The number of victims involved in sexual and other forms of trafficking began to grow in the early 1990s. It is estimated that 700 000 to 2 million people, the majority of them women and children, are currently trafficked each year across international borders for the purposes of prostitution, other forms of sexual exploitation, forced labour, slavery and the removal of organs. Traffickers are easily able to take advantage of the vulnerabilities created by war, endemic poverty, minimal education, unemployment and a general lack of opportunity for the majority of the population. While victims are primarily from developing countries in Asia, Eastern Europe, the former Soviet Union and Africa, it is also found in developing countries.
Given the economic difficulties faced by most developing countries, state-provided social services or social empowerment services for victims of trafficking will not be forthcoming in the foreseeable future. Civil society will have to shoulder the responsibility for providing the services required.


Dr Carol Allais  (South Africa)
Chairperson, Department of Sociology
Department of Sociology
University of South Africa

Dr Carol Allais is currently the Chairperson, Department of Sociology at the University of South Africa. Her fields of interest are Industrial Sociology and the Sociology of Development. She is an alumnus of the United Nations University International Leadership Academy. She is a member of the Presidential Classroom Board of Advisors, Washington DC and on the board of the Global Leadership Forum, University of Bahcesehir, Istanbul

  • Human rights
  • Human trafficking
  • Sexual exploitation
  • Forced labour
  • Removal of organs
  • Social empowerment services
  • Civil society

(30 min. Conference Paper, English)