Colombia, Brazil and Peru united in the fight against human trafficking and sexual exploitation in the Amazonian tri-border region

Leticia, Colombia - 23 January 2019 - On December 12, 2018, actors of diverse sectors concerned by the issues relating to human trafficking and sexual exploitation gathered in a panel in Leticia, Colombia. The purpose of this well-attended workshop was to update the operational plan addressing the issue of child protection vis-à-vis trafficking in persons and sexual exploitation in the Amazonian tri-border region.

The panel took place under the aegis of the programme, " Global Action to Prevent and Address Trafficking in Persons and the Smuggling of Migrants" ( GLO.ACT ) (2015-2019), organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Colombia with the support of ECPAT Colombia ( Fundación Renacer) and the United Nations Children's Fund ( UNICEF) Colombia. UNICEF Colombia is - together with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime ( UNODC) - one of the implementing partners of GLO.ACT in Colombia.

Some 100 different actors including government authorities, the private sector, international and non-governmental organizations and members of civil society from Brazil, Peru and Colombia, broke into working groups to define actions that may efficiently counter human trafficking and sexual exploitation in the region, as well as to identify and review the bottlenecks and obstacles. The workshop was also conceived as a follow-up on findings resulting from previous encounters which have taken place since 2014 in various locations, such as Leticia (Colombia), Caballo Cocha (Peru) and Manaus and Tabatinga (Brazil). 

Among other conclusions, the four sub-panels clearly reaffirmed the need for a coordinated, cross-border action regarding all four areas involved: prevention, assistance, investigation and international cooperation. A key challenge frequently highlighted by the panelists relates to the need to continue stressing accountabilities and a clear allocation of responsibilities among the different actors to ensure that cases of child trafficking or sexual exploitation that are brought to the attention of the authorities are efficiently processed. The panel concluded by establishing a tripartite workplan for 2019.  

                      

The organization of the workshop coincided with the public audience held by the Colombian Attorney-General's Office on December 13, 2018, whose goal was to make visible and promote the actions of national, departmental and local authorities, private enterprises, the media, academia and civil society, aiming at the eradication of sexual exploitation and human trafficking and other forms of sexual violence against children, adolescents and women in the entire Amazon region.                                          

Participants from all three countries welcomed the panel as a platform for exchange, laying the foundation for a strengthened collaboration in prevention, assistance, investigation and international cooperation.

The Global Action to Prevent and Address Trafficking in Persons and the Smuggling of Migrants (GLO.ACT) is a four-year (2015-2019), €11 million joint initiative by the European Union (EU) and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). The project is being implemented in partnership with the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF). GLO.ACT aims to provide assistance to governmental authorities and civil society organizations across 13 strategically selected countries: Belarus, Brazil, Colombia, Egypt, Kyrgyz Republic, Lao PDR, Mali, Morocco, Nepal, Niger, Pakistan, South Africa, Ukraine.  GLO.ACT works with the 13 countries to plan and implement strategic national counter-trafficking and counter smuggling efforts through a prevention, protection, prosecution, and partnerships approach. It supports the development of more effective responses to trafficking and smuggling, including providing assistance to victims of trafficking and vulnerable migrants through the strengthening of identification, referral, and direct support mechanisms.

 

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For more information, please contact:

www.unodc.org/unodc/en/human-trafficking/glo-act/

glo.act@un.org

Twitter:  @glo_act