We, the undersigned organizations, call on the States of Latin America and the Caribbean to strengthen the mechanisms for prevention, victim care, investigation and punishment of this crime, which mainly affects girls, adolescents and women.
It is recognized that there are legislative advances in the region that have made it possible to identify and punish persons related to the crime of trafficking in persons, in its different modalities. However, prevention and combat measures have not achieved the expected results; on the contrary, the Americas represents the region of the world with the highest level of criminal incidence of human trafficking, with a permanent increase during the last few years, according to the United Nations High Commissioner on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).
In this regard, the UNODC Global Report on Trafficking in Persons 2018 notes that. the highest number of victims of trafficking in persons is in the subregion of Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean, with a rate of 1.6 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, affecting mainly girls (55%) and women (25%), followed by boys (11%) and men (9%), with the highest number of victims of trafficking in persons in the subregion of Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean, with a rate of 1.6 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, affecting mainly girls (55%) and women (25%), followed by boys (11%) and men (9%). sexual exploitation, the main activity (87%).
In the case of South America, exploitation mainly affects women (51%) and girls (31%), followed by men (12%) and boys (6%). In this subregion, 58% of the victims are sexually exploited.
It is important to note that the victims identified in Latin America and the Caribbean come from the same region. Seventy-five percent of the victims identified in Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean come from these same countries, while the rest come from South or North America. In the case of South America, 93% of the victims belong to this same sub-region.
The crime of human trafficking is closely related to the migratory phenomenon, which has become more potent in Latin America as a result of the political crisis in Venezuela and Nicaragua, and the violence and organized crime in Central America and Mexico. In the Caribbean, there are also victims of this crime from Haiti and the Dominican Republic.
The aspects that influence girls, boys and women in the region to be at greater risk of being victims of this crime are the combination of poverty, inequality, gender inequality, low school enrollment, lack of birth registration, humanitarian disasters and armed conflicts.
In the context of COVID-19, containment measures to prevent the contagion and spread of the coronavirus have led to the closing of borders and the suspension of legal procedures, as well as the reduction of economic, material and human resources to prevent and attend to the victims of this crime.All these elements leave girls, boys and women even more vulnerable to being recruited by criminal organizations.
In view of the above, the undersigned organizations warn that the rights of children, adolescents and migrant and refugee women are at risk, and we therefore call on the States of the region to:
We reiterate our commitment as civil society to support the efforts of the States in the fight against the crime of trafficking in persons and request that institutional capacities be strengthened to prevent this crime, especially among girls, boys and women.
Partner Organizations of Save the Children’s Civil Society Support Program in Latin America and the Caribbean
 UNODC (2018), Global Report on Trafficking in Persons. Available at: https://www.unodc.org/documents/data-and-analysis/glotip/2018/GLOTiP_2018_BOOK_web_small.pdf
 UNICEF (2005), Handbook for Parliamentarians Against Child Trafficking. Available at: https://www.unicef.org/spanish/publications/files/Contra_la_trata_de_ninos_ninas__adolescents.pdf
 United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (6 May 2020), COVID-19: UNODC warns of increased risks for victims of human trafficking. Available in:
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