a drama that crosses continents

Every September 23 is marked the International Day Against Sexual Exploitation of Women and Minors / Photo by Gustavo Vera

The Argentine government confirms this Human trafficking is the most lucrative transnational crime after drug and arms trafficking.

The International Day Against the Sexual Exploitation of Women, Girls and Boys has been observed on September 23 since 1999, when the date was established by the World Conference of the Coalition Against Trafficking in Persons in coordination with the Women’s Conference held in Dhaka, Bangladesh. and its main purpose is to raise awareness of this problem.

It was chosen on September 23, because on that day the first norm in the world to fight against sexual exploitation was approved, and it was in Argentina: in 1913 “”Palacios’ Law” (Law 9143), against child prostitution.

The country also has Law No. 26,364 on preventing and punishing human trafficking and assisting its victimswhich was amended in 2012 by Law No. 26,842 and incorporated into the Penal Code as supplementary legislation.

On the other hand, the UN adopted in 2000 Argentine Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Childrento fight transnational organized crime.

According to the 2022 Annual Trafficking in Persons Report prepared by the United States Department of State, Argentina is one of the 30 countries that struggle the most against human trafficking and smuggling.

  • Rule 145 – To report crimes related to trafficking and exploitation

  • A national, anonymous and toll-free hotline for orientation, assistance and/or reporting of a missing person.
  • It works 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
  • WhatsApp inquiries on +5491165460580

“Slaves of Power” by Lydia Cacho

Lydia Cacho, born 1963, is a Mexican journalist, activist and writer. She is the author of books such as “Memories of an Infamy” (2007), “With my son @ no: Manual to prevent, understand and treat sexual violence” (2008), “Slaves of power” (2010), among others. Many of his works are of great importance and value to investigative journalism worldwide, such as the most awarded journalist in his country with 55 international awards. She was imprisoned and tortured in Mexico, in the state of Quintana Roo, for Demons of Eden, her investigative book about child pornography.

Lidia Cacho, journalist, writer and human rights activist Photo AFP
Lidia Cacho, journalist, writer and human rights activist / Photo AFP

“Slaves of Power”, although it was published in 2010, the investigation that took 5 years of work is still valid because the trafficking and trafficking of women and minors is a problem that continues and is found in all corners of all continents.

This book is divided into 14 chapters of which the first 6 are dedicated exclusively to the situation of sexual exploitation of women and minors in underdeveloped or developing countries: 1) Turkey: The Golden Triangle, 2) Israel and Palestine: What the War Hides, 3) Japan: The Geisha Mafia, 4) Cambodia: Hideout from Europe, 5) Burma: War on Women, and 6) Argentina – Mexico: Guns, Drugs and women. The remaining chapters explain common problems that arise in all countries when it comes to human trafficking and smuggling: 7) Clients: The Secret of Masculinity 8) The Army and Prostitution 9) Money Laundering 10) Pimping 11) Mafias and Globalization 12) The Figure Dance, Moral Panics and What We Discussed 13) Conclusions 14) Terminology : what we talk about and how we say it.

In “Esclavas del Poder”, Cacho explains that her tools for recording the information she gathered during her travels through the various countries she included in the investigation were hers notebook computers, the camera and the recording device. In fact, the book has pictures of the places where he worked in the field: weddings of girls to adults in Palestine; advertisements outside a bar featuring a “youth troupe” in Shibuya, Tokyo; a Vietnamese girl who says “I’m waiting for my owner”; the victim rescued from a brothel by a French client; “Palapa” where the Maya prostituted themselves in Mexicoamong other images taken by the journalist.

“Human trafficking – documented in 175 nations – demonstrates the weaknesses of global capitalism and the disparity caused by the economic rules of the most powerful countries; but above all it reveals the normalization of human cruelty and the cultural processes that have reinforced it. Every year, 1.39 million people worldwide, the majority of whom are women and girls, are subjected to sexual slavery. They are bought, sold and resold as raw material for an industry, as social waste, as trophies and offerings” (Introduction – p. 15).

July 29th was World Day Against Trafficking and Smuggling of Women, Girls and Boys and Lidia Cacho tweeted about it:

“Remembering how the operational chains between criminals and state agents work allows us to expose impunity. #NoMasTrataDeNiñas”.

“Each year the commercial sex industry enslaves more girls and adolescents, pornography plays a vital role in fueling this criminal industry. #SlavesOfPower”.

Movies, series and documentaries about human trafficking and smuggling

“I’m All Girls” (South African film available on Netflix – 2021)
• “To the Desert” (Argentine film available at Cine.Ar- 2017)
• “Slaves” (Spanish Documentary Series – 2016)
• “Stockholm, Lost Identity” (Argentine Netflix Series-2016)
• “The Wire” (US series on HBO max)
• “Sea of ​​Plastic” (Spanish series available on Netflix)

International cooperation to combat sexual exploitation is very important, as is the case between Argentina and Chile, which a few days ago signed an agreement to create the first joint investigation team in a transnational case of human trafficking. The prosecutor’s office said this bilateral agreement aims to “coordinate between authorities to more effectively promote investigations related to this crime and protect the life and physical integrity of victims.”

The Committee to Combat Trafficking and Exploitation of Human Beingswho reports to the Chief of Staff, has organized for this Friday, September 23, a program of various activities and talks throughout the country, with the aim of making visible and combating this problem and raising awareness among citizens.

  • Special attention to the rights of children and adolescents

  • With a free and confidential call to Line 102.
  • If you are a victim of domestic or sexual violence, call Line 137.
  • If you can’t communicate, look for the children’s areas of your province.

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