Eso de “trata de niñas”

Su venta, es ilegal.

No son objetos ni esclavas.

Es un delito a pagar

Convención para Cantar. Luisa Pernalete. 2020

Venezuela has approved laws to punish crimes of abuse and sexual exploitation, and it even ratified in 2002 the CRC’s Protocol related to the selling of children, child prostitution and child pornography. However, reports collected between May and September, 2020, show that there were 183 crimes of sexual violence against children and adolescents. In six of these cases, two boys, two girls and two adolescents were murdered.

Thirty-three children and adolescents are victims in their own families: eight were abused by their step fathers; six by their fathers (two of them became pregnant,) seven by uncles, five by grandfathers, four by brothers and one by a cousin; a man killed his 14-year old partner. In three cases the victim’s mother was involved as accesory.

The measures of sanitary control and confinement in homes have caused an increment of cases of sexual abuse by relatives. In this period, there have been reports of people who use their social position to abuse children and adolescents under their care: a man known for practicing witchcraft in Zulia sexually abused 100 children threatening them with death. An evangelical pastor was arrested for sexually abusing a girl. A practitioner of santeria repeatedly abused his daughters, impregnating one of them. A teacher sexually abused more than 20 students. In other cases, 27 children and adolescents were victims of sexual abuse by neighbors or acquaintances, and in four cases, the assailants are known criminals.

Indigenous organizations report that girls of various ages are used as merchandise to household labor and sexual exploitation, for a price ranging between 5 and 10 grams of gold, a price which increases the older the girl is.

During this period, there were also reports of arrests and dismantling of organizations dedicated to child trafficking, use of children for criminal activities, extortion, pornography and sexual exploitation of girls (in three cases, it’s the girl’s mother who uses or offers her for these activities.) Two adolescent girls, allegedly victims of sexual trafficking rings in Trinidad and Tobago, were reported missing.

In these kinds of situations, the State acts only after the damage is done, and there are no active policies or effective prevention programs. Venezuela must explain before the Committee on the Rights of the Child, why it hasn’t implemented programs for the integral and specialized protection of victims and survivors of abuse and sexual exploitation.