The Dominican Republic must update legislation on human trafficking

The Dominican Republic must update legislation on human trafficking

The Dominican Republic is not exempt from the human traffickinga crime related to the migrationespecially the irregular, with poverty and inequality, and especially impacts women and girls.

According to Jatzel Román, deputy minister of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, from that institution it is “hard” with human traffickers and smugglers. “But I’m also tough on the causes that make this practice find fertile ground,” he said.

Román reported that at the beginning of the new legislature that begins on February 27 in the National Congress, a new law will be submitted on the human trafficking and the illicit traffic of migrantsas a tool to more effectively prosecute criminals.

The human trafficking It manifests itself in different forms such as sexual exploitation, labor exploitation, forced marriage, forced begging, domestic servitude, among others. A recent qualitative study conducted in 11 municipalities in the country revealed that all forms of trafficking are present.

Sexual exploitation was the modality of trafficking with the most victims in the towns studied, which are Sosúa, San Felipe de Puerto Plata, Santiago, San Francisco de Macorís, Santo Domingo Oeste, Santo Domingo Este, Boca Chica, Distrito Nacional, Higüey, La Romana. and San Pedro de Macoris.

The qualitative study, presented by Citizen Participation, highlighted that, in the tourist areas of Boca Chica, Higüey, Puerto Plata and La Romana, commercial sexual exploitation is “more acute.” In the particular case of Boca Chica, there is a “strong concentration” in the capture of children and adolescents as victims of commercial sexual exploitation.

Josué Gastelbondo, head of the mission of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in the Dominican Republic, highlighted the importance of updating the legislation on the human trafficking in the country.

“The volume of laws that the government wants to promote in such a short period is very complex. But we hope that this law will be very well received due to the value it has for the institutional framework and for the country’s regulatory framework,” he said.

Gastelbondo also advocated training on the issue for public servants, from prosecutors and police officers, who address the issue of human traffickingeither to persecute her and another to prosecute the crime.

The conversation “The migration difficult: the human trafficking as a form of migration in the Dominican Republic” was carried out as part of the activities for the seventh anniversary of Migration’s national institute (INM).

Women, main victims

Tahira Vargasa social anthropologist, reiterated that the Dominican Republic is a country of origin, destination and traffic from migrants and of human trafficking in the face of its permanent internal and external migratory flows.

Vargas, researcher on the human traffickingexplained that the structural roots lie in the fact that the country still does not offer opportunities for sources of income, especially for poor women in rural and marginal urban communities.

“Women migrants and victims of trafficking have a characteristic of low schooling and school dropout due to a poor quality educational system that does not allow them to connect with sources of income in other countries that are not at risk,” he revealed.

Vargas advocated a review of the country’s strict immigration policy, lowering economic barriers, not criminalizing migrants irregular, that there be more consequences in justice towards irresponsible fatherhood and raise the issue of masculinity.

The data

Josué Gastelbondo, head of the IOM mission in the country, said that 189 countries reported until 2018 a figure of 156,330 people victims of human trafficking. He explained that 40% of the victims of human trafficking rescued in Central America and the Caribbean are women, with an equal percentage of girls and the rest is divided between men and boys. He explained that the data reveals that victims of human trafficking change according to where they are in the world: in Sub-Saharan Africa the majority are children, while in Eastern Europe and Central Asia they are adults. But they all have something in common: women continue to be the main victims.

Graduated in Social Communication with a mention in Journalism at the UASD. She has experience working in print and digital newspapers, also in the production of radio programs.

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