Projects Abroad takes a stand against human trafficking and abuse of women in Bolivia
From January 2015 to June 2016, the Bolivian Attorney General’s Office reported 147 cases of women who were killed through gender-based violence. Of these cases, only four ended in convictions. This staggering discrepancy leaves women in Bolivia feeling unsafe and uncertain that their country’s justice system can protect them. Without the assurance that abusers and human traffickers will be convicted and punished, it’s very easy for abused women to feel that there are no viable escape options.
At the centre we provide education and skills development, giving these women the opportunity to become self-sufficient. At the same time, we work to build their confidence and self-esteem, helping them realise that they do not deserve the horrific treatment that they’ve experienced. Not only do we work with the women at the centre, but we also get the community as a whole involved in combatting human trafficking and violence against women. By increasing awareness around these issues, we are creating a community that is better equipped to identify abuse and provide support to victims of abuse.
Our project is taking a two-pronged approach. Through awareness campaigns, we are building a community that is more open to helping women who have experienced abuse or human trafficking. By providing education and developing skills, we help women successfully integrate into the community.
We are already seeing positive changes in the lives of the women at the centre. To date, of all the women and girls who have attended the centre, approximately 60% return to school after their time there, while 30% start working. One of the young women who returned to school even went on to place first in her grade. These successes are encouraging, but help is still needed to make sure this centre and the Human Rights Project can continue helping some of the most vulnerable women and girls in Bolivia.