File is not found

Multisectoral alliance seeks to combat human trafficking in the use of air transportation in Dominican Republic


Santo Domingo, March 15, 2022. Aeropuertos Dominicanos Siglo XXI (AERODOM), International Justice Mission (IJM) and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) - through its TRACK4TIP Initiative - initiated activities with the different security agencies at AERODOM airports to strengthen response capacity and define a protocol to standardize the identification and referral of human trafficking cases identified at air terminals to specialized justice operators.
The agreement, promoted by the three institutions, was signed by the Specialized Airport and Civil Aviation Security Corps (CESAC), National Police (PN), Tourist Police (POLITUR), General Directorate of Migration (DGM) and the Dominican Civil Aviation Institute (IDAC) and represents an important joint effort to curb a crime that mainly affects women and girls in the country.
According to the 2020 Global Report on Human Trafficking published by UNODC, women and girls represent 79% of identified victims in the Central America and Caribbean region, one of the highest figures in the world. In 2020, the TRACK4TIP initiative conducted a Situational Report that aimed to contextualize the situation of human trafficking in the Dominican Republic in migratory flows, as well as to present recommendations for actions to be taken through this global project that benefits eight countries in the region, including the Dominican Republic. According to the report, migrants - especially Venezuelans - have been identified as one of the most vulnerable groups to be victims of this crime.
In addition, the TRACK4TIP 2020 Report identified partnerships with the private sector as a priority to improve prevention and coordination in response to this crime at the national level. The report cites: "the private sector has a primary role in the context of prevention and early identification of cases or possible modalities of exploitation." This partnership represents a direct action as a result of the priorities identified in relation to the national context and needs.
Thanks to these efforts, 150 employees of the entities that operate in airports will receive training to recognize the signs of trafficking, as well as the use of protocols to deal with the crime that affects mainly populations in migratory contexts. This capacity building process was conducted by IJM and UNODC.
"Aviation connects the world, transporting billions of passengers every year. Unfortunately, this global network is also used by traffickers to transport people against their will. That is why we at Aerodom are paying attention to this situation to do everything in our power to eliminate it," said Mónika Infante, Aerodom's general manager.
The UNODC congratulated this important step in the visibility of public-private actions in the Dominican Republic aimed at fighting this crime. "Alliances and coordinated actions are a fundamental part of the efforts to combat human trafficking at a global level. From UNODC, through the TRACK4TIP initiative, we are pleased to be part of such articulations that seek to strengthen actions at the national level to improve the criminal justice response to cases of human trafficking. Our Office ratifies its commitment to the country and will continue with this joint work to defend fundamental human rights," said Lissette Reyes, Project Officer.
Meanwhile, IJM highlighted how the private sector can support the strengthening of the public sector. "In support of the fight against human trafficking, we signed an alliance with Aerodom that pursues concrete actions to raise awareness, sensitize and take steps to eradicate commercial sexual exploitation of children and adolescents and human trafficking in the Dominican Republic," said Pehkx Jones, Head of Investigations of the organization.
Human trafficking is internationally recognized as one of the most heinous crimes against human beings, in which perpetrators take advantage of situations of vulnerability to control and exploit third parties, including minors, through the use of various means such as force, fraud and/or coercion (controlling someone through threats). It is also considered one of the most lucrative and fast-growing crimes and the second most profitable illegal industry in the world, second only to drug trafficking.

About the TRACK4TIP program
TRACK4TIP is a three-year initiative (2019-2022), implemented by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), with support from the U.S. Department of State's Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons / JTIP.
The project benefits eight countries in South America and the Caribbean with national and regional actions in Ecuador, Peru, Brazil, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Trinidad and Tobago, Curacao and Aruba.
The overall objective of the project is to improve the regional criminal justice response to human trafficking in the migratory flows of the beneficiary countries through a multidisciplinary and victim-centered approach, with actions at the regional and national levels to identify, prevent and prosecute cases.



This press release was made possible with the support of the U.S. Department of State under the terms of Agreement No. SSJTIP19CA0027. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the U.S. Department of State.