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Terre des Hommes Suisse fights for the improvement of the living conditions of children and their families in Peru

As a consequence of gold panning, many people migrate from the Andes region and especially form Cuzco to Madre de Dios, in the south of Peru, where they are seeking for a better life. This has enormous impacts such as family disintegration, alcoholism, destruction of the Amazon as well as pollution of the soil and rivers. In this context, children are the first ones affected by abuse, forced labour and prostitution in the camps of the gold miners.

In order to reduce the risks connected to the “gold rush” towards the mining region, Terre de Hommes Suisse and its local partners conducted projects in 20 rural communities of Cuzco (place of origin) and Madre de Dios (place of arrival) in 2015. These projects were framed around 3 axes:

  • Risk prevention in connection to migration, in particular as regards of sexual exploitation and trafficking
  • Treatment of victims of exploitation in Madre de Dios and their rehabilitation into the rural areas of origin in Cuzco
  • Establishment of a bi-regional coordination between authorities and civil society in order to prevent unsafe migration and to improve the treatment of victims of exploitation

In 2015, Terre des Hommes made more than 345.000 people of the Cuzco region aware of the risks connected to migration towards Madre de Dios, and especially of the risks of sexual exploitation in the “prostibars” of the miner camps. The TDH national campaign ‘‘No te dejes engañar’’, joined by more than 20 civil society organisations and state representatives, ensured the protection of numerous girls to be circumvented by misleading adverts.

Through the identification of families at risk, 400 children benefited from measures offered as an alternative to migration such as educational support and/or vocational training as well as economical and psycho-social support to their families. Improvements of the treatment of victims of trafficking could be achieved. Thanks to the training of 175 members of the authorities at community, local and regional level, a ‘‘ruta de atención’’ could be established which provides for a comprehensive and adequate treatment of victims. Due to different campaigns conducted by Terre des Hommes, its partners and international as well as national stakeholders of civil society in Peru, the issue of trafficking is recognised by the authorities and the general public. A collaboration along with a coordination network for the fight against trafficking was established between the mayors of the regions of Cuzco and Madre de Dios. Moreover, preventive actions have been integrated by the Government regarding trafficking and risks connected to migration.

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