Activists Networking against the Exploitation of Children (Anex) is a children’s rights non-profit organization which concentrates its efforts on a number of related and inter-linked project areas, intended to both prevent trafficking in children and child labour and enhance the response from role-players to trafficking.
Anex CDW (Child domestic work) arose after a research report was produced on Child Domestic Workers, between Terre des Homes Schweiz (who financed the study) and Karin Koen, the researcher, in 2001. The research report set out the state of domestic workers being recruited from rural to urban areas in the Western Cape. The research report indicated that children, mainly girls, aged between 15 and 18 were being recruited into domestic service.
Anex CDW was at first an informal get-together of artists and activists – Sonja Matheson, Cathy Patel, Gabrielle le Roux, Kali van der Merwe and Andrea Dondolo, using art as an awareness raising tool with regards to the issue of child domestic work. Paintings and drawings were completed of domestic workers in the Athlone area and these were used as part of the advocacy message, discouraging children from being used as domestic worker.
The work of Anex within the field of human trafficking was prompted by the correlation between the exploitation of child domestic work and in-country trafficking of persons, especially children.
Subsequently Anex undertook the first meaningful study in South Africa on the trafficking of children for domestic labour. This led to the organization beginning to focus on prevention work with children and youth in rural areas, and to its involvement (initially in partnership with the International Organization for Migration) with the national Trafficking Helpline. Since 2010, Anex has run the national helpline independently from the International Organization for Migration.
In 2009, the first Youth Outreach Centre (YOC) was opened in Beaufort West in the Central Karoo region of South Africa, some 500 kilometres from Cape Town. Anex had found it to be the source of large numbers of children brought into Cape Town for domestic work. The second Youth Outreach Centre (YOC) was opened in Murraysburg in 2010, another 150 kilometres north. It is planned to open further Youth Outreach Centres in the Central Karoo in 2012 and beyond.
A society that protects the rights of children and combats exploitation.
To become and remain the expert children’s rights non-profit organization in South Africa, using three inter-related programs to combat and prevent exploitation of children:
• Anti-child labour
• Counter human trafficking
• Youth development in the Central Karoo
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