South African preachers raise trafficking alarm

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JOHANNESBURG (AP) — South African preachers will raise awareness about human trafficking and concerns the World Cup could mean more exploitation.

Jo Seoka, Pretoria’s Anglican bishop, said in an interview Tuesday: “The church has the constituency to do this,” adding South Africa, a country of 50 million, has 4 million Anglicans.

Seoka, who spoke from a meeting near Cape Town where 21 leaders of churches and other groups met to launch the Stop Human Trafficking Project, called for better border policing and stronger laws.

Rural South Africans have been brought to the cities and forced into sex trade, housecleaning or farm work at slave wages. Rights groups fear more people, including those from neighboring countries, could become victims to meet demand from World Cup fans visiting from around the world.