Trafficking in Persons and Internal Armed Conflict - Governmental Barriers to Combat Trafficking in Women and Girls for Sexual Exploitation in Colombia
Abstract: Colombia is a country characterized by an intense internal armed conflict, which has its foundation in political instability followed by discontent among the population of the country. With the rise of drug lords, rebel groups, paramilitaries and army the conflict has continuously intensified towards the government, which has left countless of civilians displaced and vulnerable. The political corruption and state weakness is evident, meaning that those in charge of its citizens’ security fail to provide such. The history of trafficking in persons (TIP) in Colombia is long but has been exacerbated by the conflict and the many contributing factors to such. By these means, the Colombian government has failed in dealing with the issue of TIP as other crimes have been considered more relevant to tackle while self-survival among powerful force have been key strategies. As Colombia is moving towards a new era in time with a peace agreement signed between the government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) guerrillas in 2016, this thesis is carried out as a case study in order to explain what barriers are hindering the government’s anti-trafficking efforts between the years of 2001 and 2016. Despite publicly having implemented domestic and international laws, policies and programs to combat human trafficking, this issue has continued to persist in Colombia. This thesis therefore analyzes this phenomenon using an Institutional theoretical perspective to understand power-relations and structures while also having adopted a “Doing Gender” approach in order to analyze the deeply entrenched masculinity culture, which flourishes in Colombia. This thesis opts at shedding new light, from a new perspective, on the internal conflict’s impact on the illegal business of human trafficking.
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