Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Human Trafficking in Ecuador: A Personal Encounter

Two friends of mine (both undergraduates) are currently studying immigrant populations in Ecuador. During their visit, they encountered human trafficking and knowing about the conference, they sent their stories to me. This personal perspective is priceless ---as Spanish speakers, they are getting a good chunk of the story in the local language--- and I thought it would be great to share. It reminds us that we as students can get involved.

If you would like to know more information about the situation or learn how you can help, please contact us at muhtc2008@gmail.com.

Just wanted to drop you a line about trafficking that is a huge problem her in Lago Agrio, Ecuador. We met with a Catholic organization called Movilidad Humana today and the woman who spoke with us is responsible for programs related to sexual abuse, exploitation of minors, and human trafficking. Apparently, women from Ecuador go up into Colombia and recruit girls to work here in Ecuador where there are relatively more jobs, only to ^hire them out to bars and brothels which abound here in this town. 60-70 per cent of the women in these jobs are Colombians. Girls as young as 13, it{s just awful and apparently some of the biggest consumers are members of the oil companies and the police, so naturally, not much can be done to denounce this problem.
Movilidad Humana works closely with other migrant and refugee agencies as well as the local government top try and combat the trade in persons, but it{s an uphill battle. The superintendent of police tried to start a campaign to bring these bares clandestinos under the rule of law, but sadly was assassinated in June. A sad reality about how cheaply someone can value another human{s life. If I get more information on the topic, I will be sure to send it along.

1 comment:

Eileensita said...

I wanted to share with you, and invite you to participate, in a competition on human trafficking. Please read below for more details.

"Ending Global Slavery: Everyday Heroes Leading the Way"

Humanity United and Ashoka's Changemakers are launching a global online competition to identify innovative approaches to exposing, confronting and ending modern-day slavery.

Today over 27 million children and adults are in slavery or bonded labor around the world—more than any other period in human history. As one of the fastest growing criminal industries in the world, slavery remains largely hidden from the public eye and thrives on the rising global demand for inexpensive, unskilled labor and commercial sex.

"Ending Global Slavery: Everyday Heroes Leading the Way" aims to find holistic solutions to modern-day slavery by recognizing individuals and organizations that raise awareness of the issue's root causes, liberate those in bonded labor, and reintegrate former slaves into their communities.

The competition is hosted on www.changemakers.net. Funding will be awarded for the most innovative policy-level and grassroots models.