IOM in El Salvador has teamed up with UNFPA and the ILO to launch a music video warning women against the dangers of human trafficking and sexual exploitation.
The Salvadorian duo Shaka y Dres and Nicaraguan singer and songwriter Luis Enrique Mejía Godoy, have joined the effort with their hit song Pobre la Maria or Poor Maria, the story of a young woman who is lured from her home in a rural area to the city with promises of a job and better economic opportunities.
"This music video shows the reality of millions of victims of human trafficking and sexual exploitation and is an ideal medium to get the word out to innocent young women searching for a better life," said Norberto Girón, IOM Chief of Mission in El Salvador.
El Salvador is a country of origin, transit, and destination for women, men, and children who are trafficked for sexual exploitation and forced labor. Women and girls, many from rural areas, are subject to sexual exploitation in urban centers. Some Salvadoran adults and children are subjected to forced labor in agriculture, domestic service, and forced begging.
The majority of foreign victims are women and children from neighboring countries, particularly Nicaragua, Guatemala, and Honduras, who migrate to El Salvador in response to job offers, but are subsequently forced into prostitution, domestic service, construction, or work in the informal sector.
According to El Salvador's National Council Against Human Trafficking (CNCTP), between 2005 and 2013, the courts have convicted 43 individuals for human trafficking.
The CNCTP will distribute the music video to schools, local governments and centers that provide assistance to vulnerable population.
Pobre la María is currently at the top of the music charts in El Salvador, as the artists make the media rounds to publicize the plight of poor young women in the country and the region.
"This song, with its modern and dynamic rhythm, shows a dangerous and very sad reality for many young women. We hope the video will reach many who are not aware of human trafficking and its dire consequences," explains IOM El Salvador's Adriana Granados.