The increase of prostitution in Latin America

According to UN reports, the statistics on prostitution and human trafficking in Latin America are worrying .

View of a street

The lack of opportunities and poverty have become a determining factor for prostitution in Latin America. / Photo: Pixabay

Latinamerican Post| Moises Campos

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Leer en español: El incremento de la prostitución en América Latina

Looking closely at social dynamics, it can be seen that there has been an increase in prostitution in Latin America due to poverty, lack of studies, opportunities and other factors derived from social problems, which has led many women to see in prostitution the solution to their problems. Human trafficking has become another factor that has motivated the increase in prostitution, and what is more worrying, more and more minors are being forcibly involved, through deceptive offers and coercion.

Prostitution in Latin America

According to a report by the United Nations (UN), 80% of the victims of human traffickers in Latin America are women and girls, the vast majority ending up in the hands of sexual exploitation networks. The Secretary General of the UN , Antonio Guterres, includes poverty, in addition to armed conflicts, natural disasters and forced displacement, as a cause of the increase in human trafficking, mostly as part of the sex market.

Most people have the idea that trafficking in persons for sexual exploitation involves international trafficking, but in Latin America this affects victims within their own country or region, causing the levels of prostitution in these countries to increase. In South America, 93% of victims identify themselves in their own country, according to the Global Report on Trafficking in Persons for the year 2018 , from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).

Many countries in the region do not have statistics or actual figures on this problem, but the UNODC has shown a reality that cannot be hidden: the majority of victims of human trafficking for the prostitution market in Central America and the Caribbean are girls, while in the rest of the Latin American countries, women top the list. This does not ignore that children are also victims of human trafficking for the purpose of sexual exploitation.

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Sex tourism and the increase in prostitution

The National System for the Comprehensive Protection of Girls, Boys and Adolescents (SIPINNA) of Mexico, launched the alarm last year, because that country became one of the great destinations for sex tourism in the world, where it is estimated that 20,000 minors are victims of child prostitution. Ricardo Bucio Mújica , head of the organization, said that Mexico, Brazil, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Venezuela and Costa Rica are among the destination countries for sex tourism that comes mainly from countries such as the United States, Canada, Italy, Switzerland and Germany.

The increase in sex tourism brings as a consequence an increase in prostitution at all levels, but in a particularly alarming way, child prostitution. The UNODC report indicates that worldwide, including some Latin American countries, more victims are being detected, but nevertheless the region continues to be at risk of seeing prostitution grow due to the susceptibility of situations, such as the migration crisis and armed conflicts, which can increase both trafficking in persons for sexual exploitation and those who find in prostitution the only way to earn a living.



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