A video shows a UN vehicle kidnapping children.
Social media users on X recently shared a video purportedly showing a United Nations vehicle getting stopped and attacked by a mob for kidnapping children for human trafficking and organ harvesting purposes. It was claimed that this incident took place a year ago on December 12, 2022, and it happened in Senegal, West Africa.
An X user shared the video along with the caption, “On December 12, 2022 In Senegal, West Africa, a mob attacked a United Nations, vehicle in early and discovered it carried kidnapped children for human trafficking and organ harvesting purposes before they freed them.”
Misbar investigated the circulating claim and found it to be misleading.
This is not a U.N. van and it does not show Children kidnapping. It also predates the claimed date of December 12, 2022, as it originally happened in April 2019. The incident occurred in Bulawayo city in Zimbabwe, not in Senegal as claimed.
This Is A Security Company Van, Not A UN Van
Reviewing the clip, Misbar’s team found that there was no sign of the U.N. on the van. However, there is a sign that reads, “Sincere Security” indicating that this is a van for a Sincere Security Company.
Through a reverse image search, we were able to trace the video back and found that the incident happened in April 2019, not in December 2022 as claimed by social media users.
Furthermore, the incident took place in Bulawayo city in Zimbabwe, not in Senegal as claimed. The video features a Sincere Security Company van driver transporting the children of his employer.
Local news in Zimbabwe, as Zimeye, covered the incident back then and confirmed that the incident does not show child trafficking.
The Driver Was Transporting His Employer’s Children, Not Kidnapping Them
According to local reports, the van was stopped by citizens of Bulawayo after seeing the children waving and crying, thinking that the driver was kidnapping the children for child trafficking purposes.
Upon investigation at the Bulawayo Central Police Station, it was revealed that the man was falsely accused and was just transporting the children of his employer. The children, who appeared to be crying, were in fact playing with each other. Their noise was mistaken to be a cry for help. Eventually, the parents of the children came to the police station to clear up the matter and the man was taken to the hospital for treatment.
Child Trafficking In Zimbabwe
According to a report by the U.S. Department of State in 2023, Zimbabwe is a destination country for forced labour and sex trafficking. Traffickers exploit Zimbabwean children in sex trafficking and forced labour. More than 71 percent of child labour occurs in the agriculture sector.
Reports indicate that child sex and child labour increased due to economic hardships. Children in Zimbabwe are exploited by traffickers to work as gold panners and ore couriers by providing inadequate compensation and forcing them to take drugs to perform strenuous tasks.
A study by African Journals Online published in 2022 found it difficult to confirm cases of child trafficking in Zimbabwe due to a number of factors like child smuggling, border jumping, and corruption. The study revealed that trafficked children in Zimbabwe were reported to be raped or beaten in bushes. Some of them were also killed for ritual purposes.