The Challenge of Beating Human Trafficking

Mexico has long suffered this problem, yet it's only in recent years that more commitments have been made to fight this crime
File Photo/EL UNIVERSAL
01/08/2017
09:00
Mexico City
Newspaper Leader by EL UNIVERSAL
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When an individual makes another individual suffer through cruel treatment, stripping them of their dignity, endangering their life, and there is an economic profit involved, we're talking about human trafficking.

Facts prove this is a form of slavery most often for the purpose of sexual exploitation or forced labor services, although organ removal and forced begging are other common forms of this crime.

Women and children are the most at risk of being targeted. According to global UN data, seven out of 10 victims are female.

Mexico has long suffered this problem, yet it's only in recent years that more commitments have been made to fight and beat this crime. Yesterday, we gave another step with the kickoff of the campaign Corazón Azul (Blue Heart) against human trafficking. This campaign involves all three levels of government, society and the private sector through an inter-secretarial commission. The program was elaborated by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).

The purpose is to prevent, protect and provide assistance to victims, as well as to investigate and prosecute crimes. For the UN, Mexico is a country with many vulnerabilities. The director of the Division for Treaty Affairs, John Brandolino, told to EL UNIVERSAL that the most vulnerable groups of this crime are the indigenous peoples, women, children and the disabled.

Raising awareness of this crime and the corresponding cases must put society on alert to prevent an increase in human trafficking. Sensitization and information of the population should translate into a greater number of reports.

What results can society expect from this program? That in the short term, there are no more establishments known by all members of a community – except by the authorities – where forced prostitution takes place, at towns and cities of the Mexican Republic, particularly those located near the borders. That on the face of reports of missing minors, the corresponding agencies immediately activate the search protocols to prevent the criminal activities of human trafficking gangs. That the people found guilty of this crime are punished and unable to avoid prison. There are a lot of commitments to be kept by the local governments and district attorney's offices, as well as by the Judicial Branch.

Recognizing the progress and obstacles of this campaign, and the involvement of civil organizations and the UN in this inter-secretarial commission are a good start. For this reason, we have motives to think we're on the right path.

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