By Lily Céspedes
From the Latin America Press:
“It’s a global situation that affects almost all countries. It has become an international problem and in order to fight it the work has to be coordinated between the authorities and governments of the world,” warned Rosa Dominga Trapasso, US missionary who came to Peru over 50 years ago and who defends female victims of trafficking in the nongovernmental organization Movimiento El Pozo, in Lima.
According to the report on the trafficking of women for sex trade in Peru, produced in 2005 by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) along with Movimiento El Pozo, eight of every 10 cases identified in Peru are related to domestic trafficking.
“There is a custom of turning over or receiving children or youths whose parents can’t take care of them, who fall, unfortunately, into the hands of human traffickers,” said Tammy Quintanilla Zapata, director of Movimiento El Pozo.
However, Peru is considered the country of origin, transit and destination of human trafficking. According to the ILO, Peruvian women and girls are the principal victims of this crime and are sent to other countries in South America (Argentina and Bolivia), Western Europe (Italy and Spain), Japan and the United States for sexual exploitation.
After a four-year struggle, nongovernmental organizations defending women teamed up with government bodies and private companies in Peru to create a multi-sector commission that promoted Congress’ approval of Law 28950 on Jan. 17, 2007, punishing human trafficking with prison time.
For congresswoman and lawyer Rosario Sassieta, first president of the Women Legislators Table of Peru, this law represents a significant advance since it implies a modification in the Peruvian criminal code, which did not previously recognize human trafficking as a crime, making it difficult to punish those who practiced it.
The new law establishes prison sentences between eight and 15 years for those who promote human trafficking, including the individuals who favor, finance, receive, transport, transfer, kidnap or trick for the purpose of sexual exploitation or receive the victim inside or outside Peruvian territory. When the victims are minors and the person involved in trafficking is a public employee, the sentence is 12 to 20 years. In the case that the victim is murdered or seriously injured, the punishment is no less than 25 years in prison.
In order to help prevent trafficking, the National Plan of Action against Human Trafficking 2007-2013 has also been established in Peru, which promotes the new law’s implementation and offers victim assistance through a telephone help line. Between March 2006 and 2007, over 8,500 calls have been registered, resulting in 60 reports to the police and Attorney General’s Office for investigation.
However, little information is available on how trafficking networks operate and even less information on people who have been condemned for this crime.
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