HomeNewsBriefAnti-trafficking Laws Not Enough to Save Colombia's Victims
BRIEF

Anti-trafficking Laws Not Enough to Save Colombia's Victims

COLOMBIA / 24 SEP 2013 BY CHARLES PARKINSON EN

Despite pioneering laws to combat human trafficking, Colombia is one of the countries most affected by the crime in Latin America, highlighting the need for greater investment to combat the multi-billion dollar trade at both a national and regional level.

According to a human trafficking forum led this month by the UN Office On Drugs and Crime (UNODC), while laws exist in Colombia which could effectively minimize human exploitation and trafficking, there is a lack of government economic support to combat the trade, reported Vanguardia

As highlighted at the forum, Colombia is the country third most affected by human trafficking in Latin America -- behind Panama and Venezuela. Approximately 35,000 Colombians illegally migrate each year, of which 90 percent suffer some form of exploitation.

The majority of these are young people aged 17-25, who leave in search of money or adventure. However, according to a study led by the Fundacion Esperanza, contrary to popular belief they are not always from poor backgrounds, and human traffickers often recruit victims from universities and through fronts posing as foreign job networks.

The forum findings echo the results of a study into human trafficking released by Bogota's University de La Sabana this year, which highlighted the changing patterns in international sex trafficking, with Colombian victims increasingly sent to regional markets rather than traditional destinations in Asia.

InSight Crime Analysis

While Colombia has relatively strong laws in place to combat human trafficking, without the political will to enforce them they are meaningless. What's more, given that many of the victims are transported outside of Colombia, it is not enough for there to be tough laws in the source country alone.

As highlighted by the study earlier this year, certain countries in Latin America have emerged as key destinations for human trafficking victims. While Colombians have long been a popular choice for sex traffickers in Asia, there are indications that more and more are now being exploited in countries within the region, such as Argentina, where hundreds of Colombians were rescued from slavery-like conditions earlier this year.

As highlighted by El Tiempo, the lack of effective investigation into the practice throughout the region and high levels of impunity are two of the principal reasons this lucrative criminal enterprise continues to grow unchecked.

SEE ALSO: US Report Illustrates Uphill Battle to Prosecute Human Trafficking

share icon icon icon

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to InSight Crime in the byline and links to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

Related Content

COLOMBIA / 30 APR 2015

Authorities in Colombia and the United States have broken up a synthetic drug trafficking network that reportedly supplied six countries…

COLOMBIA / 23 JAN 2015

Colombia has launched a new scheme to undermine illegal mining by controlling the purchase and sale of minerals, which comes…

COLOMBIA / 31 AUG 2012

Colombia announced the seizure of 400 kilos of illegally mined tungsten in the east of the country, highlighting how its…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Tackles Illegal Fishing

15 OCT 2021

In October, InSight Crime and American University’s Center for Latin American and Latino Studies (CLALS) began a year-long project on illegal, unreported, unregulated (IUU) fishing in…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Featured in Handbook for Reporting on Organized Crime

8 OCT 2021

In late September, the Global Investigative Journalism Network (GIJN) published an excerpt of its forthcoming guide on reporting organized crime in Indonesia.

THE ORGANIZATION

Probing Organized Crime in Haiti

1 OCT 2021

InSight Crime has made it a priority to investigate organized crime in Haiti, where an impotent state is reeling after the July assassination of President Jovenel Moïse, coupled with an…

THE ORGANIZATION

Emergency First Aid in Hostile Environments

24 SEP 2021

At InSight Crime's annual treat, we ramped up hostile environment and emergency first aid training for our 40-member staff, many of whom conduct on-the-ground investigations in dangerous corners of the region.

THE ORGANIZATION

Series on Environmental Crime in the Amazon Generates Headlines

17 SEP 2021

InSight Crime and the Igarapé Institute have been delighted at the response to our joint investigation into environmental crimes in the Colombian Amazon. Coverage of our chapters dedicated to illegal mining…