STOP HUMAN TRAFFICKING!

Migrant smuggling and human trafficking is a global issue, Aruba is no exception.

Projects

“Habri bo Wowo” is an awareness campaign that started in 2021 with the release of the first film, “Otro Banda di Lama.” This movie explored the important topics of human trafficking and migrant smuggling. 

Alongside the film, we ran a social media campaign and a creative guerrilla marketing initiative designed to grab the attention of the Aruban population. 

Now, we’re excited to bring you “Otro Banda di e Cam,” our second local film production. Our goal with this campaign is to help the people of Aruba understand the harsh realities of human trafficking and the new ways that bad actors can exploit their victims. This campaign is brought to you by the Coordination Center on Human Trafficking and Migrant Smuggling in Aruba.

 On August 18, 2023, the official launch of CMMA’s national awareness campaign ‘No cay den trampa’ (don’t fall into the trap) was given by the Minister of Education (Mr. Endy Croes) and National Coordinator on Human Trafficking and Migrant Smuggling (Jeannette Richardson-Baars). During the launch, it was emphasized that young people spend a lot of time on social media and do not always see where danger lurks. As a result, it is possible that they could fall into the hands of a human trafficker. With this campaign, the CMMA hopes that eyes will be opened again “Habri bo wowo”. 

Research

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) launched two new reports that examines the obstacle to safe and regular migration among marginalised populations with further recommendations for mitigating risks in the Caribbean

On June 1st 2023 the representatives of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the Coordination Center on Human Trafficking and Migrant Smuggling Aruba (CMMA) presented the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) to strengthen identification, screening, protection, assistance, return and reintegration of victims of Human Trafficking. Based on this SOP and with contributions from the relevant stakeholders, Aruba can now develop an implementation plan.

The short film “Otro banda di lama” (To the Other Side of the Sea) is part of a larger campaign (Habri bo Wowo) to inform and educate the general population of Aruba about the harsh realities of human trafficking and smuggling of migrants. A highly lucrative criminal activity that occurs all over the world, and in Aruba. The Habri bo wowo campaign includes a 20-minute film that tells the story of Pedro and Camila, a Venezuelan couple who find themselves in dire straits and risk their lives to be smuggled into Aruba, only to find that they have been manipulated into a human trafficking situation.

On the European Day against Human Trafficking, CMMA held a silent walk and gathering at the Oranjestad city center, attended by mandatories and stakeholders. After CMMA, the Minister of Justice, and the Prime Minister addressed the public on the subject of human trafficking and migrant smuggling, and a living installation was revealed.

Inside a box with confronting messages, designed to look like a doll or product box, there was an actor dressed in a construction worker outfit. The installation was designed to shock passersby on the inhumane conditions that trafficked people suffer, such as harsh working conditions, too long hours, and lack of rights. The installation received much attention from the press and passersby.

On a second occasion of the pop-up living installations, CMMA set up a doll box in a busy corner of San Nicolas, this time with an actress representing a sex worker.

Sex workers are especially vulnerable to becoming victims of human trafficking because of their dependence on their employers. Exploitation takes the form of debt bondage, where sex workers build up debts that are almost impossible to pay off. In some cases of desperation, sex workers may work the streets without any hygiene or protection from diseases.

The installation brought attention and awareness of this harsh reality, which happens in Aruba too.

In the third and final installation of the guerilla pop-up activations with living doll boxes, CMMA placed the installation on one of the busiest junctions of Aruba, at Sta. Cruz.

On this occasion, there was an actress playing the role of a domestic worker. Another marginalized and especially vulnerable group of victims, people in desperate situations may fall prey to predators who exploit victims by making them work extreme hours, lending them out to friends and family, underpaying them, and in some cases physically or verbally abusing them.

This series of activations sparked much discussion online and in the press, making it a successful and creative way to bring awareness to the local situation

The ‘Habri bo wowo’ campaign includes a 20-minute film that tells the story of Pedro and Camila, a Venezuelan couple who find themselves in dire straits and risk their lives to be smuggled into Aruba, only to find that they have been manipulated into a human trafficking situation. Also included in this campaign is an educational package aimed at high school and university students with the aim of educating them on the subject and teaching them to recognize the signs of human trafficking and migrant smuggling.

On the European Day against Human Trafficking (October 18th), the CMMA together with Ketenmanager Manager Venezuela (KMVEN) organized a ‘Silent Walk’ through Main Street in Oranjestad to shine a light on the topic.  The walk started at the end of Caya Betico Croes in Oranjestad and ended at Plaza Daniel Leo, where the Aruban Prime Minister Mrs. Evelyn Wever-Croes addressed the public and outed her wish to commemorate this day every year in Aruba as well. Minister of Justice and Social Affairs Mr. Rocco Tjon addressed the crowd as well, where he emphasized that Aruba has a hotline at phone number 5923231, where anyone with information can get in touch and assist with any tips which may help the Ministry of Justice build cases and take actions against human traffickers and migrant smugglers.

In a press conference, it was announced that the organization of CMMA (“Coördinatiecentrum Mensenhandel Mensensmokkel Aruba” ) will be a point of attention for the cabinet. During the meeting, they discussed what the CMMA is doing for the Aruban community and why it is important to continue with the program. One of the most important aspects of this meeting was the formalization of the CMMA by the Aruban Government in order to continue developing their plans.

Promesa falso is a documentary about human trafficking. The story follows a young woman who wants to study abroad and gets false promises that lead her to be sexually exploited. The goal of the documentary was prevention and detection of human trafficking. This documentary was produced by Switch foundation to create awareness through audiovisuals to prevent social issues.

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