The International Day against Sexual Exploitation and Trafficking in Persons is established on September 23rd since it’s a phenomenon that affects, especially in conditions of poverty and low cultural level, children, and adults due to its sale and exploitation. The United Nations (UN) estimates that each year 1.8 million people are victims of these crimes, considered at the same level as drug and arms trafficking.
According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, “two-thirds of the victims of human trafficking around the world are women. The vast majority of them are young people who have been deceived with false promises of employment and then raped, drugged, locked up, beaten or threatened with acts of violence, or who have been imposed debts, have had their passport stripped or have been blackmailed”.
Likewise, this international organization warns that “human trafficking is a crime of both a regional and internal nature, since victims are trafficked within their own country, to neighboring countries and even from one continent to another. For example, in more than 20 countries around the world, including countries in Europe, America, the Middle East, Central Asia, and Africa, victims from East Asia have been found”.
Recently, on September 17th this year, Cuba once again was very clear in its position and policy of zero tolerance to the new forms of slavery that are emerging today. On the occasion of the 48th session of the Human Rights Council, Juan Antonio Quintanilla, permanent representative of Cuba to the UN in Geneva, declared that the Island "works to prevent and confront these crimes and cooperates with international organizations to prevent them."
According to a Prensa Latina article, Quintanilla assured that “Cuba keeps cooperative relations with the International Organization for Migration in order to guarantee respect for the rights of those who arrive on the island after being shipwrecked in their maritime transit towards Florida, United States”, it also works with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees and provides protection to undocumented people sheltered in this nation.
It was for this reason that Cuba previously denied the statement made on July 1st by the Secretary of State of the United States, Antony Blinken, in the report on Trafficking in Persons 2020, alleging that it “insufficiently meets the minimum standards for the elimination of human trafficking, and they don’t make significant efforts to meet this goal”.
Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez Parilla, in his official Twitter account reaffirmed that “the Ministry of Foreign Affairs rejects in the strongest terms the defamatory campaign of the United States government against our international cooperation in the area of health, promoted in conjunction with the most reactionary and corrupt sectors of that country”.
This is not the first time we are victims of this type of defamatory campaigns that seek to tarnish the sacrifice and human worth of our doctors, nurses and specialists in the health sector. The cooperation and solidarity that has characterized the Cuban revolution since its beginning, has now been more than consolidated with the pandemic, with the dispatch of Henry Reeve brigades to the most affected nations. Cuban anticovid-19 vaccines are also available to those who need and accept them.
Translated by Amilkal Labañino / CubaSí Translation Staff