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Sex Trafficking of Young Girls in Lima, Peru: Practice, Policy and Protection Lauren Novak and Dr. Obika Gray University of Wisconsin Eau Claire Introduction.

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Presentation on theme: "Sex Trafficking of Young Girls in Lima, Peru: Practice, Policy and Protection Lauren Novak and Dr. Obika Gray University of Wisconsin Eau Claire Introduction."— Presentation transcript:

1 Sex Trafficking of Young Girls in Lima, Peru: Practice, Policy and Protection Lauren Novak and Dr. Obika Gray University of Wisconsin Eau Claire Introduction Every nation in the world is affected by the modern day form of slavery, human trafficking. Although slavery is illegal in virtually every country in the world, there are more slaves today than at any point in human history. It is estimated that there are currently 27 million victims of human trafficking and 50% of those victims are minors. 1 Worldwide the profits from selling human lives generates an estimated thirty two billion U.S. dollars per year as calculated by the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation. 2 The expanding nature of the crime has made human trafficking a concern for the global community. Although slavery has existed for centuries, the world has seen an increase in human trafficking cases over the past 30 years. 2 The country of Peru is no exception to this growing trend. This investigation specially addresses the problem of all types of trafficking within Peru in the literature review and the problem of the sex trafficking of young girls within the city of Lima, Peru from field research. The field research has put a face to the crime that is addressed in the literature on the topic. Definitions 1) Sex trafficking in which a commercial sex act is induced by force, fraud, or coercion or in which the person induced to perform such an act has not attained 18 years of age; or 2) The recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision or obtaining of a person for labor or services, through the use of force, fraud, or coercion for the purpose of subjection to involuntary servitude, peonage, debt bondage or slavery. Purpose of Research Academic research in the area of human trafficking in Peru is limited. The reports that currently exist on are conducted by non-governmental organizations that are based in the country. Contribute to the literature because of its focus in terms of region and type of trafficking, along with extensive anecdotal information. Educate policymakers, government agencies, social workers, and students of the topic, Provide recommendations for the current practices, and contribute towards the abolition of modern day human trafficking. Methodology The sources for this report were compiled from an independent review of the literature of human trafficking, and field research which investigated current cases of sex trafficking in Peru. An analysis of these sources are summarized and then analyzed in order to determine the state of trafficking in Peru, the causes of trafficking, and to provide recommendations. Review of the Literature Scholarly Sources -books, scholarly journal articles, Peruvian Law and The Trafficking in Persons Report 2009 (TIP Report)TIP Report rates all countries on Prosecution, Protection, and Prevention Primary Sources- reports, books, DVDs and interviews from the organizations in Peru Field Research Interviewing current victims of child sex trafficking in Lima, Peru Gained access to knowledgeable individuals through affiliation with Not For Sale Personally interviewed or had an assistant conduct recorded interview with 14 girls Ages ranged from 14 to 23 From Lima, Peru or a city outside of Lima Potential for respondent bias, only able to interview girls in the same prostitution ring. Results Independent Review of the Literature According the Trafficking in Persons Report (2009), there are an estimated 20,000 people that are trafficking victims in Peru forced to work in a variety of conditions including mining, logging, agriculture, brick-layering, domestic servitude, and as sex workers. 3 Of the 20,000 total victims, it is estimated that 65% of trafficking cases in Peru are minors, which is 13,000 minors and that 83% of cases of trafficking are sex trafficking. 4 In order to combat trafficking in persons, the Peruvian government has established Law Number Law Against Trafficking and Smuggling. The law reflects the U.S. Law, The Trafficking Victims Protection Act 2000 (TVPA) which addresses the crime on three fronts: prosecution, protection, and prevention. Peruvian Governments Methods of Combating Human Trafficking Field Research Process Became involved because family’s economic situation Moved into the city in a hotel with other girls that were working The pimp lived in the room next door Wait on streets in Lima for taxi drivers, who would pick them up and take them to clients Each time the girls had a client, they were paid between 30 and 40 soles ($10 to $13.33), 10 soles ($3.33) went to pay for the girl’s room per night. Treatment from Pimp Initial reports girls would say “he is very nice,” or “he is my boyfriend.” He would at bring them food and beer. He would require them to change in front of him and try to get the girls to sleep with him by offering to lower the rent for the room for the day. They have been hit by him and one girl said that he pushed her down the stair before. “When you are with me your free” When girls tried to tell the pimp that they would prefer to do other work he would try to persuade the girls by saying, “you can make 400 soles a night” (approximately $133.33) Treatment from Police The girls were not treated as victims by the police Minors were sent to an adult jail for the night for drug possession, girls sent to juvenile hall in Salamanca for prostituting, and girls beaten by police offices. One of the girls was quoted saying, “People (police officers) are really mean here. Even though I’ve been here for 6 years the police offices hit me with sticks. Once one of the police offices broke my finger and I’ve had a bad hit in the face.” Case Study A year prior to this field research, a young girl, age 14, was prostituting for a pimp. She decided that she no longer wanted to prostitute and that she wanted to leave. The pimp hired someone to find her and killed her. Discussion The girls that were interviewed should be considered sex trafficking victims, experienced all three means of trafficking through their lives: force, fraud, and coercion. Sources 1) Skinner, E. B. (2008). A crime so monstrous: Face-to-face with modern slavery. Edinburgh: Mainstream Publishing Company. 2) Iñiguez de Heredia, M. (2007). People trafficking: Conceptual issues with the united nations trafficking protocol Human Rights Review, 9, ) U.S. Department of State. (2009) Trafficking in persons report. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office. 4) Capital, Humano y Social. Personal Communication, July, 7, ) Accion por los ninos. (2009). Manual de intervención sobre el abuso y explotación sexual. Save the Children: Lima, Peru. Translation: Action for Children. (2009). Manual for intervention on sexual abuse and exploitation. Save the Children: Lima, Peru. Fraud False amounts promised to them Coercion Convinced by family they needed to work; social stigma of being poor left few options Force Beating from the police and from the pimp. Prosecution *The Peruvian government has improved its methods and increased the number of cases that have gone to the prosecution stage. Traffickers will be serve a sentence between eight and fifteen years. * According to the TVPA, during 2009 reporting period, 54 cases of sex trafficking prosecution occurred in which five sex trafficking offenders were prosecuted compared to the previous year in which 15 cases were prosecuted with no convictions. * The judicial and police systems can be corrupt which prevents the full implementation of the trafficking laws. Prevention Non-governmental organizations throughout the country have coordinated to educate the public about the dangers of human trafficking. IOM airs anti-trafficking commercials, and has large posters in airports, which are likely transit stations for trafficking victims. Peru currently has shown no efforts to reduce the demands of sex trafficking or labor trafficking in the country, 3 an essential to the prevention of the crime. 3 Protection *The government of Peru has provided limited assistance to trafficking victims; many regions of the country have areas where no assistance is available. 3 * Lack of funding and resources of the local organizations hinders their ability to fully protect trafficking victims. * Interviewed organizations saw lack of protection and inadequate aftercare as one of Peru’s largest obstacles in combating human trafficking. * There is only one known after-care facility specifically for sex trafficking victims in Lima, Peru. Any other temporary housing assistance would not address the specific needs of a sex trafficking victim Prosecution, Protection, and Prevention have fallen short The victims that were interviewed were not treated as victims by the police, society, or the government. The girls were not provided with the government resources that they are entitled to under the law. Prosecution The prosecution is occurring in the wrong direction. The girls were treated as criminals and put into juvenile hall or beaten. The real criminal, according to international and Peruvian law, should be the clients that are purchasing sex and the pimps that facilitating and controlling the process. Protection The organizations in Lima, Peru that provided legal, psychological, and material services tended to assist cases of trafficking where the victims were from Amazon regions or other rural regions and then trafficking and exploited in the city. This is because of a vague interpretation of the trafficking definition. On the surface appears that girls are willingly involved. Many falsely assume that trafficking implies the person had to move across vast territories of land. The girls were from Lima and exploited in Lima so their condition was not seen as urgent as those that were trafficked from far away. Trafficking victim does not imply movement occurs. Prevention The sex trafficking victims interviewed also did not experience any preventative measures early in their lives to reduce the likelihood of them becoming sex trafficking victims. Early in life they were encouraged through observe ring the crime as a normal occurrence, and by their families who needed the money that could be made in the industry. The methods that the Peruvian government utilizes to prevent trafficking in persons are not targeting the specific vulnerable population addressed in this report: young girls in poverty in the Lima, Peru region. If resources were targeted towards these individuals, sex trafficking cases may be avoided. Recommendations Improve police training so that they are able to recognize trafficking victims and treat the victims that the find as victims and not as criminal Increase government resources provided to NGOS that are working on the ground and improve the communication between the entities Create a system to track more accurate numbers of trafficking victims in Lima, Peru Provide government sponsored after care Broader definition of human trafficking and sex trafficking “All of us want to change, we don’t want to be prostitutes, but they reality is we need the money so we have to do it.” - Sex trafficking victim, age 15, Lima, Peru July 22 nd 2009


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