ASUNCION – The third edition of the International Human Trafficking Forum kicked off Monday in the Paraguayan capital, advocating for an increased investment in victim assistance efforts and the strengthening of global cooperation.
Speakers included Paraguay’s chief anti-trafficking prosecutor, Teresa Martinez, and Attorney General Sandra Quiñonez, as well as Spanish ambassador Javier Hernandez.
Martinez, who will become minister of youth affairs when Mario Abdo Benitez assumes the presidency Aug. 15, advocated for an increase in investments in “victim assistance” in the fight against this crime.
The attorney general said that, given the complexity of the problem, human trafficking calls for a “comprehensive approach,” which must include “prevention, protection, assistance and sanctioning.”
The Spanish ambassador to Paraguay highlighted that the fight against trafficking is “one of the fields in which cooperation between police and judicial authorities (from both countries) is more intense and fruitful.”
He also said that a “large number of human trafficking networks and activities” in Spain and Paraguay are “detected, persecuted and penalized,” adding that victim restitution is exerted whenever possible.
Paraguayan Vice President Alicia Puchetta said that this crime is “slavery in the 21st century” and acknowledged the importance of investment in victim assistance.
According to official figures, Paraguayan authorities rescued more than 300 victims of human trafficking between 2014-2016.