Puerto Rico Crisis

 

Last week, a hurricane slammed Puerto Rico, and the entire island is without power, and the full repercussions of the damage are not yet known. Aside from all the obvious acheter du cialis en ligne reasons following a natural disaster, Puerto Rico is extremely vulnerable to child sex traffickers and pedophiles. The risks for exploitation have grown exponentially and Puerto Rico now faces a monumental crisis. Natural disasters can create an immediate chaotic atmosphere, which amplifies the conditions that attract and enable sex traffickers to prey upon victims. The disruption of everyday life places children outside their safety zone heightening the risk of exploitation.

 

Many will travel to Puerto Rico with the sole intention of harming the young and vulnerable. Often well-organized sex trafficking rings will pose as relief workers, employment agencies or religious leaders to gain proximity to their potential victims.[1]Young beautiful women will be coerced to leave their familiar surroundings under false pretense. Traffickers will promise a high-paying career, but their plans are much darker and sinister than that. The following excerpts are taken from an online article written in 2014.

“Puerto Rico is a destination for sex tourism and a transit point for women and children from other Caribbean islands and the interior of the Island for sexual exploitation. Cases have also been reported of foreigners, both men, and women, who cross the ocean and are used for labor exploitation. Besides the crossing of borders, trafficking and domestic slavery of Puerto Rican children seem to be the most evident occurrence on the Island. Some of the activities for which minors are used are the distribution and sale of drugs, work as “mules”, prostitution and pornography, and other illegal activities. Often the exploiter is a family member, a member of a foster family in a foster home, and a neighbor, particularly when the case includes prostitution and other sexual activities.”

“Our investigation revealed that some of the authorities are aware that Puerto Rican children residing in the interior of the Island have been relocated to hotels in the metropolitan area to satisfy the demand of the sex tourism industry. There have also been reports on the Island of several boys and girls who have disappeared, and authorities suggest that they may have been the victims of illegal trafficking of minors for labor exploitation, sexual exploitation and/or for the sale of organs. Furthermore, many of these exploited minors do not have to be physically transported somewhere else for the exploitation to take place, as it is occurring in the center of the Island.”

Puerto Rico is a magnet for sex tourists due to its beauty, location and financial instability [2] and now the risks are severely multiplied. In response, there must be a coordinated international effort to protect the vulnerable through advocacy, accountability, awareness, and prevention. Minimizing the risk of human trafficking or abuse is not guaranteed, but all efforts must be made.

Written by Kelly Master
Director, For Dignity
kelly@fordignity1.org

 

[1] http://theconversation.com/why-child-trafficking-spikes-after-natural-disasters-and-what-we-can-do-about-it-53464

[2] http://informacionaldesnudo.com/challenging-the-invisibility-of-smuggling-and-trafficking-persons-in-puerto-rico/ Publicado en 8 octubre, 2014 por Edwin Molina en Opinión // Leído 1556 Veces

Kelly Master
Kelly Master

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