The issue of human trafficking: seminar in Lima
18 March 2019
A seminar was held in Lima on 12 March on the issue of human trafficking. The event included regional governors and public officials.
The event reflects a growing preoccupation with this abuse of human rights. It follows hard on the heels of the major campaign we reported on two weeks ago: a military and police effort to control illegal mining in Madre de Dios, and one claiming to give priority to getting victims of sexual abuse to places of safety. It also increases the salience of the news last week of the launch of a new radio soap, which tells stories in Quechua about the dangers of trafficking. The soap tells eight five-minute stories. It should be noted that the words for human trafficking do not exist in many indigenous languages.
Participants at the seminar argued that a predictable but sad tie up is occurring between the illegal gold mining in the Amazon area and the experiences of some Venezuelan migrants. The bars and brothels of Madre de Dios appear to offer well-paid work as waitresses, cooks or dancers, it was said, but young girls and women tend to encounter a different reality.
José Ivan Davalos, head of mission in Peru for the United Nations' International Organization for Migration (IOM), reported that of the 1,700 victims of human trafficking recorded in 2017-18, some 10 per cent were Venezuelan. He said: "Many people who arrive, arrive without documentation, without being able to identify themselves, and above all, boys and girls who are not accompanied arrive, and they can be easily recruited [by traffickers]."