Archive for the ‘women’ Tag

Human trafficking in Argentina and the world

I love living in Argentina; perhaps even more so because my time is coming to an end. Who wouldn’t love a living in a beautiful country with warm people who enjoy lively conversations over meals of steak and red wine? I do have to point out that I have no love for the way that some of the people exoticize and even demean me sometimes as they assume that that outward ethnic appearance means that I am a prostitute.

A fellow BC blogger wanted to know if the experience would prompt me to write about racism in Latin America. While racism may be partly to blame, I think that people associate my racial appearance with the rampant human trafficking that brings thousands of Dominicans, Brazilians and people of other nationalities, often to work as prostitutes. Unfortunately for many here, being of African descent and female is associated with prostitution and sexual slavery.

Argentina does not have specific laws addressing human trafficking. While the human trafficking circles do treat Argentina as a destination, there are also trafficking rings that move people within the country, totaling an estimated 2.4 million people traded for labor and sexual exploitation. Women and girls from economically depressed regions are either kidnapped or enticed by too-good-to-be-true job offers. Awareness has been elevated to a popular culture level. One of the most popular evening telenovelas here, Vidas Robadas, centers on internal human trafficking in Argentina.

The dedicated passion of activists such as Susana Trimarco de Veron have helped to bring the issue front and center on Argentina’s national agenda. A campaign called “No to Human Trafficking, No to Modern-day Slavery” started last year recruited Uruguayan singer and actress Natalie Oreiro to be an advocate for raising awareness and sparking further action to end human trafficking in Argentina.

Thanks to Social Butterfly, I learned about a documentary that premiered late this summer called Call+Response that attempted to raise awareness about modern-day slavery and abolitionist efforts. Knowing that lack of economic opportunities leaves already vulnerable members of society subject to people that prey on them, poverty reduction is sure to be a key goal for eliminate human trafficking and sexual slavery. Women will have other options to earn incomes to support their families rather than relying on promises to take them away from a life of poverty.

Here are some organizations that I found via change.org that work to end human trafficking:

Equality Now
Polaris Project
Barnaba Institute
The SAGE Project

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