Argentina has become a hub for human traffickers in the region, with over 700 women from all over the world forced into sexual slavery over the past year and a half.
The data, released by Argentine NGO La Casa del Encuentro to the AFP, reveals that there is a growing demand in the country for younger women. According to the organization’s director, “there is a growing demand for younger women – from adolescents of 16 to girls as young as eight.” Increasingly, traffickers are targeting young boys and male adolescents as well.
Adults in trafficking rings are often are persuaded into prostitution rings through phony job offers, often as caretakers of children or elderly patients. Once in the possession of trafficking networks, however, their identification documents are taken from them and they are beaten into submission.
According to the report, Argentina’s trafficking network is international in nature, and may involve criminal organizations from as far away as Mexico, Russia and China.