International organizations, embassies and NGO’s convoke conference on “Action Day Against Trafficking in Persons”

Action Day Against Trafficking in Persons poster.

The Working Group on Trafficking in Persons, formed by 33 civil society groups, international organizations and embassies from an array of counries, are organizing an international conference on the “Action Day Against Trafficking in Persons.”

The goa lis to create awareness and promote opportunities for greater cooperation among countries, government agencies, and civil society to prevent Trafficking in Persons, which is a form of modern slavery. Trafficking in Persons is the second largest criminal activity in the world today and the one with the fastest growth rate. This year’s conference will focus on labor exploitation.

The International Labor Organization estimates that approximately 21 million individuals are victims of sexual or labor exploitation worldwide. A large number are exploited in economic activities related to agriculture, domestic work and manufacturing.

The conference is scheduled for Monday, January 13, at the Chamber of Deputies office in Santiago (Compañía 1175) from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., and will include panels with national and international experts. Among them is attorney María José Fletcher, who works with organizations that prevent Trafficking in Persons, domestic violence, and other forms of violent crimes.

María José T. Fletcher 

Maria José Fletcher is the founder of VIDA Legal Assistance, Inc., a non-profit organization to advance the rights of victims of violent crimes.  Ms. Fletcher works with several organizations that give protection to the victims of trafficking in persons, giving them free legal counsel. She is also involved with education programs to prevent trafficking in persons and labor exploitation.

Dr. Fletcher is also the national coordinator of the Freedom Network Training Institute, which educates on prevention of trafficking in persons, and is a board member of the National Resource Center on Domestic Violence.  Recently, Ms. Fletcher completed two years of voluntary work with the National Advisory Committee on Violence Against Women, chartered by the U.S. Attorney General.