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Human Trafficking

In Honduras, the Garifuna are an “invisible” people

In Honduras, the Garifuna are an “invisible” people

Shared from an Article titled; Alternatives to detention leave some Honduran immigrants in "Shackles" - Latin America News Dispatch -

When Eva left San Pedro Sula with her children this summer, she did not know what the journey would entail. A worker at a factory manufacturing shirts for Nike and Hanes, Eva had never traveled outside of Honduras. Some of her friends and family had moved to New York, but she rarely spoke to them.

Eva, Gabriel and Daria traveled to Guatemala by bus, where they stopped at a train station in the capital to beg for money. They then took a second bus to Mexico, before crossing the border into the U.S. by foot.

“I don’t like to talk about the experience,” Eva said. She was hesitant to share details about their migration, which culminated in a one-week detention at a facility in Texas before they were released and took a third bus to New York.

Pablo Blanco, a 38-year-old Garifuna who directs Elite Caribe International, a group that promotes Garifuna culture in the diaspora, said that many Garifuna women have been reluctant to open up about how and why they came to the U.S.

“A culture of fear has been instilled in these women, and now they don’t want to talk,” said Blanco, who has been attending the weekly meetings at Bronx Spanish Evangelical Church.

Garifuna from Honduras have been immigrating to the U.S. for decades. Around 1,000 women and children were part of the 88,491 Honduran migrants apprehended at the U.S. border between October 2013 and August 2014, according to Customs and Border Protection.

While Eva declined to discuss the reasons behind leaving, broad patterns affecting the Garifuna are clear. The Garifuna are not only fleeing violence in a country with the highest per capita homicide rate in the world, but also a government that has long marginalized their Afro-indigenous community.

Human traffickers known as “coyotes” facilitate the Garifuna migration, Garcia said, telling the women that if they travel to the U.S. with their children they will be allowed to stay in the country and work.

Carla Garcia addresses Garifuna during a community meeting at the Bronx Spanish Evangelical Church.

Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez acknowledged the problem of coyotes in a July press release, and U.S. authorities have tried to counter the use of human traffickers through a Danger Awareness Campaign that includes billboards and radio announcements throughout Central America that explain that new arrivals will not be exempt from deportation.

Blanco said, however, that the Honduran government also helps perpetuate the problems that push the Garifuna to leave their homes. In Honduras, he said, the Garifuna occupy an “invisible” status, and the government routinely displaces members of the community who live on pristine coastal lands ideal for tourism projects. In one recent example, 400 Garifuna from the Barra Vieja community were evicted by members of Honduras National Police in September in order to clear territory for an Indura Beach and Resort development.

“In Honduras it’s like we’re discriminated twice,” Blanco said. “We’re black and indigenous.”

“The Garifuna came here because they thought it would be different and that they would be safe,” Garcia, the activist, said. “And instead they are treated like criminals.”

This is is an excerpt from an article published by the Latin America News Dispatch To read full article please Click Here 

It's A Penalty - The A21 Campaign

It's A Penalty - The A21 Campaign

The 2014 World Cup is taking place in one of the largest countries in the world - Brazil.

Brazil is home to approximately 190 million people. Street children are a particularly vulnerable group in Brazil as they have no home, no care, and no protection. While others, despite having a family network, are sent to the streets to bring money home however they can. 

The World Cup is expected to attract 600,000 foreign tourists to Brazil, as well as encourage large numbers of people to migrate to the host cities for work. As a result, the risk of minors being recruited for sexual exploitation in the commercial sex industry has heightened and is expected to increase during the World Cup. The A21 Campaign, with the IT'S A PENALTY partners, aim to stop this.

In a bid to tackle the sexual exploitation and abuse of children, IT'S A PENALTY aims to raise awareness amongst soccer fans and those traveling to Brazil for the World Cup. If anyone is caught engaging in sexual exploitation with a child, aged seventeen and under, they will face prosecution not only in Brazil but also their home country upon returning.

The World Cup will be held in Brazil June 12 to July 13, 2014. Police authorities are concerned that young girls in Brazilian cities are at risk of being trafficked. Girls as young as eleven will be groomed for prostitution and offered to tourists. This is why we are taking action now.

IT'S A PENALTY is a partnership led by The A21 Campaign, Happy Child International, and Jubilee Campaign, working in conjunction with the UK National Crime Agency whose CEOP command leads in tackling traveling child sexual offenders in the United Kingdom. 

If you see something, say something. You can call 100 from a Brazilian line. The call is completely free from any local or public telephone in Brazil and operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. For more information, visit the official IT'S A PENALTY website.

via A21 Campaign