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'Sexual crime courts must return'

A DA member says she does not understand why sexual offences courts were scrapped.

Justice.

CAPE TOWN - The Justice Department said on Wednesday it will not give a time frame as to when specialised sexual crimes courts will become an integral part of the criminal justice system.

A pilot project to reestablish the courts was launched earlier this year.

The department said a task team looking into its viability submitted a second report to the justice minister for his consideration.

The department's Mthunzi Mhaga said, "A commitment was reaffirmed that these sexual offences courts will work wonders in the fight against sexual violence."

The Democratic Alliance (DA)'s Debbie Schafer said the courts should never have been scrapped in the first place given the country's high rate of sexual offences.

"It is just unacceptable. I think we had 64 specialised courts in place and they were just removed and stopped without any real explanation."

Non-governmental organisation Childline said if specialised sexual crimes courts are to be fully reinstated, they must be well resourced.

Meanwhile, a United Nations report on Human Trafficking on Wednesday revealed women make up the largest proportion of perpetrators of this offence.

The UN Office on Drugs and Crime released the findings of its study this week.

The report showed in some countries women traffickers have become the norm.

But men remain the key perpetrators.

Sexual exploitation is the main driver of trafficking followed by forced labour.

Women and girls account for 75 percent of all victims.

It was found that the East Africa region is the most widely targeted by trafficking syndicates.

The UN is worried some governments are not taking this seriously enough.

In some nations included in the study, not a single conviction for Human Trafficking was secured this year.

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