Human trafficking in Bolivia goes largely unchecked throughout the country with over 71 percent of human trafficking victims not received any attention or protection from the government over the past two years which puts them at risk of becoming a victim of further exploitation in the future. A disproportionate number of these victims are poor, indigenous, and live in rural areas. Many of these individuals, especially women and girls, get ensnared by trafficking due to a lack of opportunities available to them. In some cases, families will sell their daughters for their own survival. Companies like our positive impact partner, SutiSana, employ Bolivian women that have fallen victim to trafficking and prostitution in order to free them from their situation.
What is it?
Human trafficking occurs when a person is exploited for labor, services, or commercial sex through the use of violence, deception, or coercion for financial or personal gain. People who fall victim to human trafficking are largely low-income women of color. Nearly half of the victims are trafficked domestically within national borders and occurs around the world. In fact, the United States is one of the worst countries in terms of human trafficking. Nevada has one of the highest rates of trafficking in the country, if not the largest. On a more local scale, Colfax Avenue in Denver, Colorado is an infamous human trafficking location. In fact, the FBI rescued 20 kids and arrested 7 pimps in a sex trafficking operation that took place on Colfax in 2015.
Companies who support freedom from trafficking are supporting the rights of the marginalized and oppressed for an economically stable life. For low-income women of color, opportunities that offer financial stability are few and far between. Businesses who recognize the lack of opportunities for these women and make an effort to offer more job opportunities to this community are freeing this oppressed group from degrading situations.
Why does it matter?
Due to the nature of human trafficking, this system of exploitation will continue to survive with the continued recruitment of oppressed groups. The recruitment rate can be slowed with an increase in viable economic opportunities that are designed specifically for vulnerable communities. Social programs can do some good, but it is difficult to make a sustainable change for the better without the help of private interests.
When companies like SutiSana support the freedom from trafficking, they are also supporting the expansion of economic opportunities previously closed off to low-income women of color.