Government officials in the Risaralda department of western central Colombia have requested a special unit to combat human trafficking, which greatly affects the region, according to a press release from the Risaralda local government.
Risaralda Secretary Jorge Ivan Arango Duran said that he made the request to Colombia’s prosecutor general and defense minister for the special unit to be established in Risaralda, as it is one of the regions most affected by sexual exploitation and human trafficking.
“By setting up the unit in Risaralda great results would be achieved not only in the reduction and criminalization of human trafficking but also in the reintegration of victims of these criminals into society. [The criminals] are being prosecuted in Bogota where congestion in the courts means they are not dealt with quickly,” said Arango Duran.
Criminal proceeding against 10 people involved in human trafficking networks began in Risaralda in 2010.
According to the International Organization for Migration (IOM) between 45,000 and 50,000 Colombian women are working as prostitutes in other countries, of whom the vast majority are victims of human trafficking and sexual exploitation.