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04 June 2019 | Story Valentino Ndaba | Photo Charl Devenish
Prof Cathryn Tonne
Air pollution not only costs lives, it costs money too. Pictured is Prof Cathryn Tonne presenting a guest lecture on air pollution at the Bloemfontein Campus.

Health effects associated with ambient air pollution (AAP) have been well documented. Subsequently, the relationship between pollution and financial outcomes have also become a focus for case studies globally. An Environmental Research journal article revealed that “low and middle-income countries are disproportionately affected by the global burden of adverse health effects caused by AAP”. 

A high price to pay

In 2012, high concentrations of air pollution caused 7.4% of all deaths, costing South Africa up to 6% of its Gross Domestic Product. According to the recent International Growth Centre study conducted by senior University of Cape Town researchers, this is a direct consequence of the country’s heavy dependence of fossil fuels, a source of health-damaging air pollution and greenhouse pollutants.

Stunted human and economic growth

These South African statistics are attested to by Prof Cathryn Tonne who recently presented a guest lecture on air pollution which was hosted by the University of the Free State (UFS) Business School.

“Air pollution can affect economic development through several pathways, and health is an important one. Air pollution is linked to shorter life expectancy, chronic disease, asthma exacerbation and many other health outcomes that result in absenteeism from work and school. These have large direct costs to the health system.” 

Prof Tonne says that air pollution exposure in children is linked to reduced cognitive development, with important impacts on human capital. As a result, children are not reaching their full potential in terms of neurodevelopment, which has an effect on their income prospects and the economy as a whole. 

Resolving a looming disaster

Technology may be employed to radically clean the air. Cities need to lead in the reduction of air pollution by promoting renewable energy, using active transport such as walking or cycling, and investing in infrastructure to make this safe and attractive. 

With researchers playing a major role in strengthening the case for aggressive air pollution control, the government needs to implement policies in order to control sources of air pollution. This global health and economic issue also requires individuals and communities to play their part to improve air quality.

News Archive

Regional Conference on Trafficking in Human Beings
2007-06-29

Trafficking in Human Beings:
National and International Perspectives

Date: 17th August 2007
Address: CR Swart Auditorium, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa.

Every year thousands of children and adults become victims of trafficking and abuse in South Africa and throughout the southern African region. Victims are trafficked for a myriad of reasons: sexual exploitation, including prostitution and pornography; illegal labour, including child conscription; domestic servitude; illegal adoptions; body parts/organs; and forced marriages.

The Unit for Children’s Rights, Department of Criminal and Medical Law, University of the Free State (UFS), together with the Centre for Continuing Legal Education at UFS, will host a Regional Conference on Trafficking in Human Beings. The conference will bring together key role-players from the South African government as well as crucial international non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in the region.

Trafficking in human beings, especially women and children, is a serious violation of the human rights of the victims, as well as an extremely profitable source of income to organized crime, and needs the attention and intervention of both governmental and non-governmental institutions in South Africa.

Speakers will include representatives from the United National Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), the South African Law Reform Commission, the Unit for Children’s Rights-UFS, and NGOs Molo Songololo and Terre Des Homes, that work with child trafficking victims in South Africa and around the world.

The media are invited to report on the conference, and interview speakers and presenters Attached find programme. For more info contact the following persons.

1. Beatri Kruger - 051 401 2108 / email: krugerh.rd@mail.ufs.ac.za  
2. Susan Kreston - 051 401 9562 / email: krestons.rd@mail.ufs.ac.za  
3. Elizabeth Snyman – 051 401 2268 / email: snymane.rd@mail.ufs.ac.za  

Programme

Trafficking in human beings:
National & international perspectives


Presented by The Unit for Children’s Rights, Department Of Criminal & Medical Law , Faculty of Law, in Conjunction with The Centre for Continuing Legal Education, University of the Free State.

Funded through the Generosity of the United States Department of State

17 AUGUST, 2007 – CR SWART AUDITORIAM

8:00-8:30 Registration & Tea
8:30-8:45 Opening & Welcome
Prof. JJ Henning, Faculty of Law
8:45-9:40 Overview & Global Perspective
Prof. Susan Kreston - Unit for Children’s Rights, Faculty of Law-UFS

9:40-10:00 TEA

10:00-10:45 International Perspectives & the Role of Organized Crime in Trafficking
Wiesje Zikkenheiner, Associate Expert
United Nations Office on Drugs & Crime, Pretoria
10:45-11:45 Identifying and Assisting Victims of Trafficking
Marija Nikolovska, Project Officer
International Organization for Migration, Pretoria

11:45-12:30 LUNCH

12:30-1:15 Prosecuting Trafficking Without Trafficking Laws
Adv. Nolwandle Qaba, Sexual Offences & Community Affairs Unit
National Prosecuting Authority, Pretoria
1:15-2:15 Recommendations for New Legislation in South Africa
Lowesa Stuurman - South African Law Reform Commission, Pretoria

2:15-2:30 TEA

2:30-2:50 The Role of Terre Des Homes in Fighting Trafficking in Children
Judith Mthombeni– Terre Des Homes, Pretoria
2:50-3:50 Trafficking in Children in South Africa – A Front Line Perspective
Patrick Solomon - Molo Songololo, Cape Town
3:50-4:00 Closing Remarks
Adv. Beatri Kruger
Department of Criminal & Medical Law - UFS

 

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