Trafficking in Persons

Trafficking in Persons

Trafficking in Persons (TIP), also known as modern slavery, is a serious crime and human rights violation that involves the non-consensual exploitation of men, women, and children for sex work, forced labor, forced marriage, organ removal, forced begging, and/or other ends. All of these forms of trafficking are present in Latin America and the Caribbean. Women, children, and marginalized populations such as migrants, LGBTI individuals, and indigenous peoples are particularly vulnerable to trafficking. As such, prevention of trafficking in persons necessarily requires a gender focus and intersectional approach that fosters inclusion and empowerment of women and marginalized populations to create solid foundations that serve as a vector for lasting social change.

PADF combats trafficking in persons through a framework that incorporates the “four Ps” of TIP work – Prevention, Prosecution, Protection, and Partnerships – and emphasizes grassroot work, community empowerment, local-level mechanisms at all stages.

Prevention

The best way to end trafficking in persons is to prevent it from occurring in the first place. As such, PADF places an emphasis on prevention measures, working with government stakeholders, civil society, and local communities to educate vulnerable populations, identify vulnerabilities, and prevent TIP. PADF’s prevention work places an emphasis on grassroots, community-level outreach and empowerment, recognizing that local residents are the best prepared to reach at-risk groups as culturally appropriate in their own languages. In both Guatemala and Bolivia, for example, PADF has worked to train, support, and empower local indigenous women as Community Defenders to educate their neighbors about TIP, conduct awareness-raising campaigns, and lead TIP prevention activities in their community.

Prosecution

Effective investigation, prosecution, and punishment of traffickers provides justice to victims and deters further trafficking crimes. As such, an effective criminal justice system – including judges, prosecutors, and police who understand TIP and how to combat it – is vital in the fight against trafficking. While working with national officials, PADF’s work also places special emphasis on indigenous and local-level officials involved the prosecution of trafficking offenses. In Bolivia, for example, PADF strengthened the capacities of indigenous justice authorities to treat trafficking in persons while at the same time training local police how to identify and investigate cases.

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Prosecution

Effective investigation, prosecution, and punishment of traffickers provides justice to victims and deters further trafficking crimes. As such, an effective criminal justice system – including judges, prosecutors, and police who understand TIP and how to combat it – is vital in the fight against trafficking. While working with national officials, PADF’s work also places special emphasis on indigenous and local-level officials involved the prosecution of trafficking offenses. In Bolivia, for example, PADF strengthened the capacities of indigenous justice authorities to treat trafficking in persons while at the same time training local police how to identify and investigate cases.

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Protection

Providing protection services to victims of trafficking in persons is vital to their recovery and to prevent revictimization. Women and girls represent the majority of TIP victims, and their experiences differs from those of men and boys. Thus, each group and each victim requires specific adaptive services, but governments are often too strained to provide tailored care. As such, PADF has supported government agencies and NGOs to provide improved protection services to child and adult victims of trafficking in persons, including shelter, education, health care, psychological counseling, legal assistance, reintegration, repatriation, and other services, most specifically in Guatemala.

Partnerships

Partnerships and cooperation between NGOs, international organizations, governments, and local communities are key to effectively combatting TIP. As such, PADF works closely with local governments, civil society organizations, and community groups such as women’s organizations and indigenous authorities, in all aspects of TIP programming, to strengthen local anti-TIP networks and ecosystems.

BOLIVIA AND GUATEMALA
Trafficking in Persons
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"GRABBING ON TO LIFE"
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EMPOWERING WOMEN IN THEIR COMMUNITY
Volunteer Community Facilitators
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BOLIVIA AND GUATEMALA
Trafficking in Persons
Learn More
"GRABBING ON TO LIFE"
Learn More
EMPOWERING WOMEN IN THEIR COMMUNITY
Volunteer Community Facilitators
Learn More
Previous
Next
Roberto Obando

Roberto Obando

Regional Director – Caribbean

Peace, Justice, and Security Thematic Leader

Trafficking in Persons Thematic Leader

Email: connect@padf.org

Chris Wooley

Senior Program Manager

Trafficking in Persons Practice Area Leader

Email: connect@padf.org

Resources

Fortaleciendo la prevención y protección de la trata de personas en Guatemala

Strengthening TIP Prevention and Protection in Guatemala

Guía de capacitación para facilitadoras comunitarias para la prevención de la trata de personas

Guía para la atención integral a personas LGBTIQ+ mayores de edad, víctimas de trata de personas en Guatemala

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