Women’s empowerment programs as advocacy tools for potential human trafficking victims

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2010-08

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Abstract

Human trafficking is an international crime affecting all countries that continues to grow. The crime operates as part of an illicit underground network, starting with traffickers who manipulate, deceive, and exploit victims. Victims are both male and female, but the crime disproportionally affects women more than men. Latin American women are especially vulnerable to being trafficked due to societal and cultural norms that demand they be subordinate. Additionally, these women lack many educational and job opportunities, and face mental and physical abuse at home and in their communities. These factors make them vulnerable, and the traffickers use these vulnerabilities to deceive and exploit them. This report will argue that in order to effectively prevent victimization, women need to be empowered, not only access to education but also job opportunities. Furthermore, a societal transformation needs to occur that gives more value and significance to women, where they are viewed as powerful beings instead of submissive and subordinate human beings.

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