Fighting Human Trafficking in a Mexican Town Built on Sexual Exploitation
CNN's Rafael Romo investigates a tiny village in Mexico said to be among the largest sex trafficking capitals in the world. (CNN)
Tenancingo is a town with a foundation built on exploitation. Powerful networks of traffickers operate out of the region, where boys are groomed to become pimps from a young age. Women and girls are forced to sell sex on the streets, in residential brothels, online, and in cantinas across the United States and Mexico. They and their families are threatened through violence, deception, and intimidation. These women and girls are trapped in modern slavery, enslaved by criminal networks that have perfected human trafficking and exploitation into a sophisticated science over decades.
The depth and breadth of the modern slavery that is intricately woven throughout our global society is both shocking and daunting. In fact, the International Labor Organization estimates that 4.5 million people are victims of sex trafficking around the world in an industry that generates tens of billions of dollars in criminal profits each year.
But this is a fight we can win. Instead of becoming discouraged by the number of sex and labor trafficking cases, we are more hopeful than ever.
As the number of cases on the national hotline increases, so does the number of survivors who are connected to the help and services they need. We are witnessing more attention being paid to human trafficking by the public than ever before. This level of momentum from concerned citizens can truly have an impact in dismantling the human trafficking networks that are present in our communities.
For the first time ever, human trafficking hotline coverage now expands across two-thirds of the North American continent. Victims can call from both the U.S. (1 888 373 7888) and Mexico (01800 5533 000) to learn about their options, get connected to help, and begin the process of recovery.
Citizens in the United States and Mexico can help prevent further victimization of vulnerable women and girls from the Tenancingo region by understanding what human trafficking looks like, raising awareness that it is happening, and demanding more action from their leaders in government, law enforcement, and civil society.
Read the rest at CNN
Related: People Are Pouring Sand Onto Sidewalks for Trafficking Victims Who Fall Through Cracks (HuffPost Impact)
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