Basic Tips for Parents in the Age of Human Trafficking

As parents, it is essential that you:

– Know your child’s whereabouts at all times.
– Teach your child your first and last name.
– At a very early age, teach your child their name, address and telephone number.
– Show your children the nearest police station.
– Teach them how to call 10111 for help (and the TIP helpline number). If you have an app, teach your children how to use it in an emergency.
– Make sure your children know how to make local and long distance telephone calls.
– Never leave children alone in a car, not even for a few seconds.
– Establish strict procedures for picking up children at school, after movies, at friends’ homes.
– Establish a family code word that only you, your child and a trusted relative or friend knows.
– Teach your child to ask for the code word when approached by someone offering them a ride.
– Have photographs taken of your children at least four times a year.
– Make a note of birthmarks or other distinguishing features.
– Have your child fingerprinted and store the prints in a safe, easily accessible place in your home.
– Teach your children to never leave home without your permission.
– Teach your children to never wander off, to avoid deserted places, and to avoid shortcuts through alleys. They are safer in groups.
– Tell them to never give any information to anyone especially over the telephone, including their name and address, or indicate they are alone.
– Remind them to keep doors locked and admit only authorized people into the house.
– Teach them – If accosted by a stranger in a mall to scream “This is not my Daddy/Mommy’ or ‘Stranger’, to drop to the floor and practice this with them.
– Teach your children about responsible social media usage.
– Be responsible as a parent on social media – don’t publish photos of your child in their school uniform and check in everywhere you go.
– Remind your children to never accept a lift from someone you don’t know, even if the child knows them.
– Talk to your children about being aware of strangers or vehicles loitering nearby in a simple, non-threatening way.
– Listen to your child when he or she discusses anyone new they have met or spoken with when you weren’t around.
– Very small children should play only in areas away from the street, such as a backyard, or in play area supervised by a responsible adult.
– Remind your children to come straight home from school unless you have made other arrangements.
– Teach them never to enter anyone’s home without your approval.
– Ensure that your child either knows the passcode to access your phone, or that there is a phone available for them to use which does not need to be passcode activated, should they need to use it in an emergency.
– Do not allow your small children to trail you when walking through public spaces. If you can’t see your kids, anyone watching you would be aware of that.
– Adjust your awareness to always have your “eyes on” your children in public spaces. Be aware of others that may be watching them and/or you.
– If you must use your Cell Phone while walking in public spaces, first make sure your small kids are standing directly in front of you and/or holding onto you. If in doubt – put your phone away until you reach a secure area. Many things can happen in the few seconds it takes to send a text.
– Children learn best while having fun. Try to teach and role play these aspects in a fun manner.

Should your child ever go missing, these are the important things to remember:

1. DO NOT WAIT 24 HOURS! This is a dangerous myth.

2. Complete a SAPS 55 Form at your nearest police station.

3. Contact MCSA on 072 647 7464

4. Send the following information:
– Name of the missing child
– Situation surrounding the missing child
– Case number
– SAPS details
– Most recent photo of the missing child
– Send it via email, fax. You can also report missing people online via : www.missingchildren/report

5. Keep MCSA updated on progress.
– MCSA will distribute case-related information to the province and even nationally, if necessary. MCSA will keep both the family of the missing child and SAPS up to date on any relevant information and leads.

Useful Contact Numbers

Police : 10111
Cellphone Help : 112
SAPS Crimestop : 08600 10111
Childline : 0800 055 555

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