When I first went to Bogota Colombia in 2005, I heard from different organisations that Colombia as one country is dealing with every single problem the UN is dealing with all over the world. One of the biggest problems I came across was internal refugees.
After 40 years of an ongoing war, the government has a hard time keeping track of its inhabitants. On top of that the country has one of the highest numbers of internal refugees. (I think currently the estimated number is around 3 million, actually, only Sudan has a bigger amount). I believe the high number of internal refugees is a result of several issues such as natural catastrophes and poverty, etc. As you can imagine, many of these refugees are easy targets for human traffickers.
As an activist working against human trafficking, I would like to see more co-operation and dialogue between countries/organizations dealing with refugee problems and those dealing with human trafficking issues.
When I was working in Colombia for a refugee organisation, I was repeated told that the movie Lilja Forever which is about a trafficking victim (a girl trafficked from Eastern Europe into Sweden) was not worth seeing. The reason they gave me was that they are based in Colombia and the girl in the movie was a victim in Europe and therefore had nothing to do with a organisation based in Latin America. I hope today, a couple of years later they understood how wrong they were, that this case wasn’t unique for Europe, the same horrible story is repeated everyday all over the world, . The only way to beat the human trafficking issue and all other human rights issue is about to fight it together, no matter what country, what organisation, what issue we are fighting against!
Please, check these brilliant, photos that are taken by a photographer who documented for 7 years in Colombia amount of different human rights issue.