Report on impact of trafficking law in Mexico:

TDP, the Mexican Colectivo contra la Trata de Personas, published its report on the impact of the new anti-trafficking law. The report, which was the result of a RighT Guide Assessment, lays down their findings and analyses the gap between what the law pretends to achieve and its actual effects on the lives and rights of both trafficked persons and sex workers. As a result of the law, raids on sex establishment in Mexico D.F. have hugely increased, arresting anybody present in the premises, including sex workers, waiters, cleaners and clients. They all risk being detained and prosecuted for either trafficking or sex work, giving them the choice to either denounce their colleagues as traffickers, or risk being prosecuted themselves. During the research the Colectivo has developed intensive contacts with the new organisation of table dancers, el Movimiento Pro Erotismo, which was created in response to the raids. Many of them testified that they were forced to sign a statement against their colleagues they weren’t even allowed to read. Women who demanded to read the statement or refused to sign and say that they were forced, were kept in detention, taken apart in a separate room to “think” about their refusal to sign, humiliated and threatened until they gave in. Many of the women are migrants. Of some of the women who were arrested and stood up saying that they were not trafficking victims and that they had the right to work with their body and to dance, it is unknown where they are now. Forty-five of the women and 24 family members of detainees filed a complaint with the national Human Rights Commission for arbitrary arrest and detention, torture, forced confessions and violation of due process. According to the Federal Prosecutors office 346 ‘victims’ were rescued in 2013. In 2014, 274 ‘victims’ were rescued, of which 58 were migrants and 3 minors. However, nobody knows what happened with them. None of the owners of the establishments have been arrested. As a result of the same law Alejandra Gil, the leader of the sex workers organisation Aproase, who also participated in the training in December 2013, and her son were arrested January 2014. Recently Alejandra is sentenced on equivocal evidence to 15 year of jail. Efforts are made for an appeal.

In July 2015 Marjan Wijers, one of the trainers, visited Mexico and discussed with the researchers, the team of table dancers from the Movimiento Pro Erotismo and the owners of table dance establishments follow-up actions (see picture). The report “Consecuensias Invisibles” can be downloaded here

Both the research and the report were made possible through the financial support of the Oak Foundation.

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