“Chile is a source, transit and destination country for men, women, and children who are victims of Trafficking in Persons with the purpose of sexual and forced labor.”
(2014 Report on Trafficking in Persons from the U.S. Department of State)
The Working Group on Trafficking in Persons made of 33 civil society groups, international organizations, and embassies from different countries will convene on Thursday, January 8, 2015 for the third occasion of the Day of Action Against Trafficking in Persons, “Making Visible the Invisible.”
The event will take place in the Hall of Honor of the former National Congress, located at Catedral 1158, Santiago, between 9:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m., and will feature a panel of national and international experts. Among them will be Roselyne Borland from the Regional Office for South America from the Organización para las Migraciones (OIM) and Ricardo Valdés Cavasss, an international specialist in the fight against trafficking in persons.
This international conference aims to create awareness and promote opportunities of increased cooperation between countries, government agencies and civil society to prevent trafficking in persons. This year the discussion will be focused on the identification and detection of victims of trafficking in persons, which is considered a form of modern enslavement and is the second largest criminal activity in the world today and the criminal activity with the fastest growing rate.
Trafficking of Persons: A Form of Modern Enslavement
According to figures from the International Labour Organization (ILO), approximately 21 million people are victims of labor or sexual exploitation around the world. In the workplace, a large percentage is exploited in economic activities like agriculture, domestic work and manufacturing.
What is Trafficking in Persons?
- It is defined as the use of force, deception, or coercion to recruit, house, move, or withhold a person to be subjected to labor or sexual exploitation, or for servitude, whether this person is under or over age.
- It is a crime because the victims are denied their fundamental freedom and rights.
- The victims can be men, women and children, immigrants or people who have been brought from one region of their country to another.
- The groups that are most vulnerable are illegal aliens, youth fleeing their home, and people in poverty.
- The victims are controlled by intimidation, non-payment of wages, retention of identification documents, sexual or physical violence, or the deprivation of necessary items such as food, water and medical care. At times they are not permitted to communicate freely with friends and family.
- The victims often do not come forward because they fear they will be detained, deported, or because they fear that they will be hurt, or because threats have been made against their families. Often the victims are manipulated into believing that they do not have rights.
Trafficking in Persons is Not the Same as Human Smuggling
- Human Smuggling implies the crossing of borders from one country to another in exchange for payment, but does NOT NECESSARILY imply the exploitation of people, as it has consent. Trafficking is a crime against the person, while human smuggling is a crime against the state. However, sometimes people who are smuggled can transform into victims of trafficking, once they arrive at their destination.
To see all the photos of the event, click here.