MONTEVIDEO – A prominent Argentine attorney and human rights campaigner said on Tuesday that Uruguay must attack the culture that “promotes” sexual exploitation.
“When we talk about sexual exploitation of boys, girls and teenagers, we are talking about human rights violations,” Ana Oberlin said during a conference in Montevideo on the challenges of prosecuting those who victimize children and adolescents.
“It is very important to take into account that these are human rights violations in the context of these patriarchal societies that deem boys, girls, teenagers and women as consumer goods and not as individuals with rights, which is how they should be treated,” Oberlin said.
Sexual exploitation is a problem across Latin America, not just “about two or three perverted individuals,” but about a culture that “objectifies” children’s and women’s bodies.
Oberlin said that while Uruguay and Argentina have “very good legislation” on sexual exploitation, “there are difficulties regarding enforcement.”
“True prevention requires working on equality so that the environment in which children grow up allows them to have dignified lives,” the attorney said.
It is “fundamental to understand that human rights cannot be relinquished, and no person may consent to his or her own exploitation,” Oberlin said.