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Concern Grows About the Rise of Child Exploitation, Trafficking in Dominican Republic

LADB Article ID: 80318
Category/Department: Dominican Republic
Date: 2017-06-15
By: Crosby Girón

Human rights activists are alarmed that child prostitution and trafficking have become common in the Dominican Republic. The practice has been accepted as a source of income by many of the victims’ families, who receive money, gifts, and other goods in exchange for allowing their children to be exploited, activists say. In 2015, according to UNICEF República Dominicana, the Attorney General’s Office (Procuraduría General de la República) received 6,741 complaints of sex crimes. Of these, 1776 involved minors. Between January and May 2016, 896 crimes of this sort against minors were reported, a 20% increase from the previous year. Raquel Casares, director of the NGO Plan República Dominicana, said child exploitation is especially common in tourist areas and along the Haitian border. There are no official statistics regarding the number of children subjected to commercial sexual exploitation, which means that the available information is based on estimates. A study carried out by the Misión Internacional de Justicia (International Justice Mission) in 2014 showed that one in 10 people involved in the sex trade in the Dominican Republic is a minor.

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