01 Sep 2011

The Author

Author of the award-winning book Finding Fernanda. Senior Fellow at the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism. Redux Pictures photographer. Read more here.

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Fighting Child Trafficking, Around the World & in Guatemala

The New York Times recently published an interactive infographic by Sarah Wheaton entitled “Fighting Human Trafficking, Country by Country,” on Monday August 30, 2011. You can click on a country, and an anti-trafficking poster created specifically for that country by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) will pop up.

The IOM anti-trafficking posters reminded me of a few posters I photographed on January 15, 2009 in Guatemala City, hanging on the wall in a receoption area at the Minor’s Court in Zone 1. Unlike the posters showcased in the New York Times piece, these aren’t related to the International Organization for Migration.

The white headline reads, “Don’t get caught! (or, Don’t get trapped!) The trafficking of persons is a crime!” The faded phrases in the background read “Sexual exploitation, slavery, irregular adoption, debt bondage, forced labor, and practices similar to slavery.”

Beneath this poster, the six sponsoring organizations are hard to make out, but the ones I can identify are Guatemala’s Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores (Ministry of External Relations and Ministerio de Educación (Ministry of Education).

Here’s another poster, that hung to the right of the poster above:

The white headline at the top of the poster says, “Don’t believe everything they promise,” and beneath, it reads “Travel – Work – Study – Money, the trafficking of persons is modern slavery, don’t be fooled!” At the bottom, it says “Ask for help” and provides a phone number.

And finally, to the right of the other two posters, there was this one. It has nothing to do with human trafficking. Instead, it asks the public to consider becoming foster parents. The organizations listed at the bottom of the poster include UNICEF and the Secretaría de Bienestar Social de la Presidencia de la República.

The white headline reads, “Let me be part of your family… Be my foster (substitute) family.”

Here’s what all three posters looked like, on the courthouse wall:

 

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