UNICEF: Protecting Girls From Sexual Exploitation

Nybo, T. (2008).Protecting Girls From Sexual Explotation in Guatemala: United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund.

This article discusses positive changes surrounding human trafficking in Guatemala. Nybo begins with the story of Ana Maria. Abandoned by her mother at the age of six, addicted to drugs and alcohol, she turned to the sex trade in order to earn a living. She was taken in by a man when she was nine and a half to work in his night club. After being abused and making little money she returned to the streets.

Nybo goes on to discuss how common this situation is in Central America, and also how there are no serious laws to protect children from sexual exploitation. The article states, “Globally, children’s sexual exploitation is considered a serious crime, condemned beyond national borders. Nevertheless, in Guatemala it is not considered a crime. The traffickers are sanctioned with a small fine.”

UNICEF, the United Nations Inernational Childrens Emercency Fund, is working to get legislation enacted and enforced. In August of 2008, The Law Against Sexual Violence was presented to congress. The UNICEF also has organizations to protect children in need like Ana Maria. This helps them integrate back into mainstream society. Though they have a long way to go, they’re taking steps in the right direction.

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