Human Trafficking in Venezuela
This research examines the injustices and dehumanization of Latina/os in Venezuela and itsphenomenon of human trafficking. The nation became victim to its own economical, social, andpolitical corruption. The trafficking of persons is believed to be the third-largest organized crimeworldwide, encompassing many demographics. Human trafficking has plagued Venezuela formany years now. The paper ultimately concludes and exposes the extent of the dilemma. Thesources used for our conducted research were found through the databases of the John Jay Lloydlibrary, the U.S Department of State, and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). We haveconcentrated our findings on the occuring problems in Venezuela, the connection of theproblems Venezuela is facing today to human trafficking and the countries involved as well aspresenting ways that people can counter-attack this cause.Human Trafficking in VenezuelaHuman trafficking is a nationwide dilemma. Venezuela is a source of transit and is adestination country for women and children trafficked for the purposes of sexual exploitation. Itis very difficult to identify who is a victim of human trafficking due to the number of unknownundocumented immigrants that are not accounted for. These undocumented immigrants and thenumber that fall victim to sex trafficking are not accounted for.
A country’s instability is whatdrives their people out. They begin to migrate and the sense of desperation for money is whatleads many to enter the human trafficking rings. This paper explores the leading causes ofVenezuela’s collapse, and it also exposes why it has failed to control and put an end to the rise in human trafficking. It provides suggestions that we believe will help Venezuela and through thestudy of Venezuela’s corruption, educate readers on a nation that is breaking apart.Human Trafficking as defined by the Article 3 of theProtocol to Prevent, Suppress andPunish Traffickingis the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of persons,by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, ofdeception, of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability or of the giving or receiving ofpayments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, forthe purpose of exploitation. Unfortunately, Venezuela is one of the many leading countries thathas failed to control the rise of human/sex trafficking.Venezuela is rapidly collapsing and thishas led to many disasters such as; hyperinflation, power cuts, police brutality, lack of hospitals,and a nationwide shortage of food and clean water.The region is witnessing one of the biggestmigrations in its history. As a developing country in South America, Venezuela has rich naturalresources, but suffers from a government that refuses to cooperate with foreign NGOs andrefuses to accept foreign aid. Venezuela’s crisis began in 2010 under the presidency of Hugo Chavez and has continued intocurrent president Nicolas Maduro. Nicolas Maduro has refused to recognize the country’shyperinflationary problem and has no plan to address it. Venezuela is heavily dependent on oilrevenues, as oil accounts for about ninety five percent of Venezuela’s earnings. Venezuela holdsone of the largest oil reserves, but after it’s big collapse the country is running out of cash to payfor food and medicine. Salaries can’t keep up with hyperinflation, and living in a country wherethe prices of food is changing constantly has prompted more than 1.5 million Venezuelans to fleethe country in the past four years. The United Nations estimates there are 3 million Venezuelans living abroad, including some 2.4 million spread across Latin America and the Caribbean.
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Thoseseeking to leave the country who can’t afford black-market rates can face harder setbacks as theyare left on their own to seek refuge. The country’s failure to provide their people with what theyneed is driving the migration in search of a better life. Venezuela approved the Protocol toPrevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking as it addressed all aspects of trafficking in persons. Itwas created in efforts to combat trafficking in both international and domestic cases. However,Venezuela has failed to uphold the the protocol. Human trafficking in Venezuela has increasedtremendously over the years and and alleged victims of trafficking from Venezuela have beenidentified in other countries such as Aruba, Colombia, Costa Rica, Curacao, DominicanRepublic, Ecuador, Greece, Guyana, Mexico, Panama, Peru, Spain, Suriname, Trinidad andTobago. Columbia’s Immigration has been unable to track the exact number of Venezuelans that haveentered Columbia but they have definitely realized their increase in population. Venezuelanscross the Simon Bolivar bridge which is the entry point between Columbia and Venezuela.Venezuelans use it as a way to escape their country’s conditions and unfortunately criminalgangs take advantage of such misery. Two of Columbia’s criminal gangs the Rastrojos and theGulf Clan control the illegal crossings. They decide how many pass, as well who passes andwhat they can take with them. Many of the people enter Columbia in hope to find work however,others are food or fuel traffickers who must pay the gangs duties on contraband they smuggle. Asexample of such vulnerability that exists, a victim herself, Luz has spoken about how she lostone of her three children in April of 2018 after the hospital in her Venezuelan town ran out ofmedication to treat her daughter’s bacterial infection. She was approached with a chance to move to Trinidad and she immediately agreed. However, she was held captive for five weeks, whichemotionally, psychologically and emotionally damaged her.
At one point, Luz states that her anda friend were tied up and raped side by side. “We were looking at each other, we would cry. AndI would tell her, ‘Sister, be strong, you have a daughter.’ I would just keep repeating that.”. Luz’shorrifying experience is result of Venezuela’s failure to take action on one of the biggest plaguesthat exists in Venezuela. Venezuela is facing serious economical, political and social catastrophes. There are high levelsof political and civil tensions that are occuring in Venezuela. The UN Office of Drugs and Crimeargues that organized crime such as human trafficking, would be unsuccessful without the aid of“systematic corruption”. This means that Venezuela would need to address their issue directly inrelation to economic means as well as address how political influence impacts nationalcorruption. Corruption not only obstructs the protection of human rights in Venezuela, it alsocauses many human rights violations. Venezuela is acquiring one of Latin America’s worstrecords of human rights Violations, as corruption worsens. Venezuela has a score of 169 out of180 in Transparency International’s 2017 Corruption Index. The Corruption perceptions index(CPI) measures countries on the basis of their perceived level of corruption. The CPI focuses onthe public sector and evaluates the degree of corruption among public officials and politicians.Further analysis indicates that countries with the least protection for NGOs also tend to have theworse rates of corruption. Support groups from neighboring countries as well as non neighbors have taken action byproviding with necessities for Venezuelans seeking refuge. The Venezuela Support Group (VSG)has been founded by the Guyana Human Rights Association.
VSG announced that they will ensure that persons arriving receive information and assistance to secure valid visas to remain inGuyana and are not exploited financially or abused in other ways. It also noted that the group hasrequested meetings with the Minister of Citizenship in order to establish liaison arrangementswith the ministry. The VSG supports the implementation of new regulations and policies thatwill help Venezuelans. They want to place policies that will provide Venezuelans the mosteffective way to start over. They will help with assistance to contact family or other persons bymaking known social and welfare services which may be accessible to Venezuelans, and bycontributing to information-gathering initiatives.Human trafficking in Venezuela violates the Universal Declaration of Human Rights(UDHR).The UDHR was created after World War II, in December 10th, 1948. It was created for thepurpose to set out, for the first time, fundamental human rights to be universally protected. Itconsists of the preamble following with 30 articles that protect the fundamentals that everyhuman being deserves. Human trafficking specifically violates the articles #4 and #5. Article 4states “No one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave trade shall beprohibited in all their forms.”(1948). In Article 5 it also states “No one shall be subjected totorture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.”(1948). When victims aretrafficked they are sold and are forcibly being taken around. They are treated as objects and arenot even seen as humans and are being utilized for the benefit and pleasure of others. No oneshould fall victim and be degraded to be seen and be treated like an object. Victims also areforced to partake into forced labor such as prostitution, child soldiers, and involuntary domesticservitude(U.S Dept. of State,2008). These methods are part of modern slavery meaning they have taken away the freedom and being forcibly exploited. Through the manipulation of theperpetrators, the victims are stripped from their natural rights.Focusing more about Venezuela, they are currently placed in the third tier.
What do thesetiers really mean? The U.S Department of State created the Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report,which the world’s most comprehensive resource of governmental anti-trafficking efforts andreflects the U.S. Government’s commitment to global leadership on human rights issue (2001).Through the reports the United States would provide narratives for countries that were involvedin the particular crime if human trafficking. They constructed tiers and placed the countriesappropriately in their well-suited tier. The requirements consisted of a government shouldprohibit severe forms of trafficking in persons, any child that is a victim to any act of sextrafficking is incapable of giving meaningful consent and will be viewed as force, thegovernment should return a punishment that adequately reflects the heinous nature of theoffense, and that the government should make efforts to eliminate any forms of sextrafficking(2000). Because Venezuela did not properly meet the criteria, they are placed in tier 3,which is not something that they should be remaining in for. Venezuela did not successfully meetthe minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking.As stated before, the Venezuelan Government is not making any significant efforts and istherefore remaining in the Tier 3 (U.S Dept. of State,2008). GIving a brief overview of the TIPreport. There are other countries that are placed in the same tier or even lower. Starting with tier1 which consist s of Argentina, Australia, France, Portugal, The United States of America,andetc. Tier 1 is basically the countries that meet the Trafficking Victims Protection Act’s (TVPA)minimum standards. Moving onto tier 2, it consists of countries such as Afghanistan, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Turkey, and etc. Tier 2 is just countries that did not meet the standards, but aremaking an effort to reach them. And lastly, Tier 3 has countries such as North Korea, Russia,Venezuela, and etc. Tier 3 has countries that do not fully meet the minimum standards and do noteven bother to make any significant matters to change it.There are resolutions that have been taken to counteract methods of human trafficking.There are relief programs that are given to victims to help them overcome within the UnitedStates. According to the American Civil Liberties Union(ACLU), they stated “Under the Victimsof Trafficking and Violence Protection Act of 2000 (TVPA), victims of trafficking are eligiblefor the services and benefits available to refugees in the United States, such as cash assistance,food stamps, Medicaid and SSI”(par 30). The Trafficking and Violence Protection Act of 2000(TVPA) is an act to combat trafficking in persons, especially into the sex trade, slavery, andinvoluntary servitude, to reauthorize certain Federal programs to prevent violence againstwomen, and for other purposes(U.S Dept of State). Immigrants are able to apply for visas, suchas T-visas and U-visas.The T-visas and U-visas are similar, but they do have noticable differences in terms ofwho can apply, employment, and benefits for family members. Starting with the U-visas,according to United States Citizenship and Immigration Services immigrants are available if theywent under a qualifying criminal activity which consists of“Abduction, Abusive Sexual Contact, Blackmail, Domestic Violence, Extortion, FalseImprisonment, Female Genital Mutilation, Felonious Assault, Fraud in Foreign LaborContracting, Hostage, Incest, Involuntary Servitude, Kidnapping, Manslaughter, Murder,Obstruction of Justice, Peonage, Perjury, Prostitution, Rape, Sexual Assault, Sexual Exploitation, Slave Trade, Stalking, Torture, Trafficking, Witness Tampering, Unlawful CriminalRestraint”(2018).Under the U visas it offers more of a broad spectrum and allows several victims to beeligible for the visa.
For the T-visas the victims that are eligible to apply are victims thatunderwent a severe form of human trafficking(2018). The T-visa is more specific as in whocould be eligible for it. The amount of applicants that are accepted for the T-visas are 5,000 ayear while the U-visas can accept up 10,000 applicants a year.(2018). After the victim hasapplied they are going to inform law enforcement in providing them additional information tostop more victims of human trafficking.These are solutions that are being utilized internationally and domestically. There is notany influence that people can have because the visas are solely based on the federal agencies,which most people do not have much say in. There can be workshops implemented in the schoolcurriculum or after programs which would raise awareness of human trafficking. Through theseworkshops, awareness would be raised and more people, especially adolescents, will be informedon how to support anti-human trafficking organizations that are combating human trafficking.In conclusion, Venezuela has failed to uphold the human rights of their citizens and hasfailed to implement stability as a whole. Venezuela has ultimately led itself to its own downfallas it fails to recognize the big problem at hand. Venezuelans are paying price to thegovernment’s ignorance and lack of action. The combination of economic collapse and staterepression has pushed Venezuelans to migrate and become victims of human trafficking. Theabsence of government support within Venezuela has led to violate standards of the Traffickingand Violence Protection Act of 2000. Therefore, it has been placed in tier 3. There has been programs, such as the U-visa and T-visa that were mentioned before, placed to grant aid towardsvictims. With support and aid from organizations and other federal agencies, the battle againsthuman trafficking can hopefully be reduced and terminate this act.
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Human Trafficking in Venezuela. (2019, Aug 24). Retrieved from https://papersowl.com/examples/human-trafficking-in-venezuela/