After 6 years of its launch the Blue Heart continues to beat in Mexico
Mexico City, 30 July 2016. On occasion of the World Day against Human Trafficking, the Government of Mexico in partnership with the UNODC arranged a series of events to share good practices in the prevention and investigation of human trafficking, and make Mexican citizens familiar with the work of all members of the Inter-secretariat commission against human trafficking. An international symposium with experts from Latin America and an information fair at one of the capital's most crowded parks with more than 30 stands displaying the Blue Heart were held in Mexico City from 29 to 30 July.
Ambassador Joel Hernández, Director General for United Nations organizations at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced at the opening ceremony that in 2017 the Government of Mexico and UNODC, with the support of the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL), will launch a renovated version of the Blue Heart campaign, and recalled that Mexico was the first country in the world to adopt this awareness-raising initiative, now present in five continents.
The Undersecretary for Tourism Public Policies, Teresa Solís; the Secretary of the Inter-secretariat Commission against Human Trafficking, América Nava; the head of the Special Prosecutor's Office against Women's violence and Human Trafficking, Ángela Quiroga; and UNODC Officer in Charge, Felipe De La Torre, offered opening remarks.
The UNODC official invited the audience to reflect on nine of the most critical challenges faced by Latin American countries in the fight against human trafficking: the increase of internal trafficking, the use of children in illegal industries and the risks posed to trans-migrants to become victims of exploitation. He also enlisted some populations at special risk like people with disabilities, returned migrants to their countries of origin and adolescents with internet access.
Other awareness-raising activities took place also in the States of Chiapas and Chihuahua. Prosecutor General Raciel López Salazar led a lively Sports rally with hundreds of citizens wearing the Blue Heart in Tuxtla Gutiérrez, and a "Week to Prevent Human Trafficking" was organized in the Northern border city of Ciudad Juárez with the participation of UNODC and national experts.
As a country of origin, transit and destination for human trafficking victims, and one of the busiest migration corridors in the world, Mexico is familiar with the vulnerabilities faced by migrants crossing the country to fall prey to human trafficking and other crimes. Large migration flows make it difficult for possible victims to be identified as such and receive proper assistance and protection. Urban and rural communities along the routes and entry/exit points must be able to detect signs of possible human trafficking situations and law enforcement authorities shall develop intra/inter-state coordination mechanisms to stop traffickers.
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