Latin America and the Caribbean

Even though countries in Latin America and the Caribbean are primarily source countries for trafficking victims, there has been an intensification of inter- and intra-regional movement. This is resulting in a growing need for integrated public policies that focus on these places as transit and destination countries.

According to a 2005 IOM report, trafficking in women and girls for purposes of sexual exploitation has become a $16-billion-a-year business in Latin America. Some estimates have suggested that this figure represents almost half of what is generated worldwide as trafficking profits. The United States State Department estimates that tens of thousands of Latin American women and children are trafficked for sexual exploitation each year.

In addition, although it tends to be underreported, trafficking for forced labour is generally perceived to be a major and growing problem. Workers are being exploited for slave labour within the region and, increasingly, are also ending up in situations of forced labour after migrating to Europe and the United States.