“Don’t Let Yourself Go” Campaign In Dominican Republic To Defeat Brothel Recruiters.

Image: Commons Wikipedia. This map from 2011 indicates in red the countries where human trafficking is most common.
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Hotel owners and the US embassy in Santo Domingo have  inked an agreement aimed at stamping out human trafficking in tourist hotels.

What is human trafficking.

Human trafficking  is defined by the US government as a criminal activity that “involves the use of force, fraud, or coercion to obtain some type of labor or commercial sex act.

“Every year, millions of men, women, and children are trafficked worldwide – including right here in the United States. It can happen in any community and victims can be any age, race, gender, or nationality. Traffickers might use the following methods to lure victims into trafficking situations:

  • Violence
  • Manipulation
  • False promises of well-paying jobs
  • Romantic relationships”.

It is well known that many young women from the Dominican Republic find employment in brothels in Europe or other countries within the Caribbean region, but what is more murky is how they are recruited.

This new agreement, an integral part of the “Don’t Let Yourself Go” anti-trafficking campaign, was formally signed by David Llibre, President of Asonahores, and Rebeca Latorraca, Director of USAID in the Dominican Republic.

Rebeca Latorraca explained that the agreement would involve the development of programs and training sessions to educate hotel staff about how to recognize possible human trafficking and how to respond correctly to cases of suspected human trafficking showing up at hotel receptions desks.

She emphasized the importance of strengthening reporting mechanisms and collaboration among hotels, local authorities, and civil society organizations to effectively identify and assist trafficking victims.

David Llibre underscored the collective commitment of key players in the Dominican tourism industry, including Asonahores, the US Embassy, the Attorney General’s Office, and the Ministry of Tourism, in combatting human trafficking.

He, likewise,  emphasized the importance of training tourism sector employees to effectively respond to potential trafficking situations, affirming Asonahores’ dedication to implementing proactive measures to prevent trafficking through widespread dissemination and comprehensive support mechanisms across hotels, airports, and the broader tourism sector.

The “Don’t Let Yourself Go” campaign against human trafficking will be prominently featured in ports, airports, and hotels throughout the Dominican Republic, as well as across Asonahores’ activities, events, and social media platforms.

Moreover, awareness sessions on trafficking will be conducted for immigration personnel and staff at member hotels of the association.

The campaign aims to disseminate prevention messages among vulnerable populations and the general public to raise awareness and prompt action against human trafficking.

This collaborative effort between the cooperation sector and the private sector seeks to contribute to the eradication of trafficking, a crime that infringes upon fundamental human rights and undermines the social fabric of affected states, including the Dominican Republic.

Source: Dominican Today, Department of Homeland Security.
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