Sex trafficking spikes in Argentina, age of victims dropping

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Sex trafficking spikes in Argentina, age of victims dropping

Postby sam » Fri Dec 03, 2010 10:11 am

Sex trafficking spikes in Argentina

ARGENTINA has become a major centre of human trafficking, with about 700 women from various countries forced into sexual servitude over the past year-and-a-half, a new study says.

"The trafficking in people in Argentina over the past 10 years has grown alarmingly," said Fabiana Tunez, whose non-profit group, La Casa del Encuentro, conducted the study published overnight.

"Over the past 18 months, more than 700 women and girls have disappeared - kidnapped by prostitution rings," she said.

Ms Tunez said that of those forced into sexual slavery, 70 per cent are from Argentina, with most of the others coming from Paraguay, the Dominican Republic, Peru, Bolivia and Brazil.

The information for the report was provided by women who escaped their captors, after either managing to flee or being liberated by police or family members who came to their rescue.

"One particularly worrying piece of information is that the age of the victims is declining," Ms Tunez said.

"There is a growing demand for younger women - from adolescents of 16 to girls as young as eight," she said. Young boys and male adolescents now also are being targeted for kidnap.

In the case of the adult victims, the women often are lured into prostitution with offers of employment in legitimate-sounding enterprises, often as caretakers of children or elderly patients.

"Once in the hands of the mafia, the women are subjected to a long period of being 'broken in', which can entail rape, physical psychological torture, and threats being made against their family members," Ms Tunez said.

Their captors confiscate their passports and hold them in secret locations, where they are made to service clients as frequently as once every 20 minutes.

The report said the trafficking network appears to be international in nature, and may involve organised crime ties as far away as Mexico, Russia and China.
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