U.S. Department of State 2005 Trafficking in Persons Report - Chile

Chile (Tier 2)

Chile is a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children trafficked for the purposes of sexual exploitation and forced labor. Most victims are Chilean minors trafficked internally for sexual exploitation. According to a 2003 study conducted by the Chilean National Department of Children's Affairs (SENAME), at least 3,700 children were victims of commercial sexual exploitation. Traffickers are known to contact victims and their families directly or through advertisements offering jobs as domestic help, models, or product promoters. Chileans have been trafficked to Argentina, Peru, Bolivia, the United States, Europe, and Asia for sexual exploitation. Foreign victims are brought to Chile for sexual exploitation or involuntary domestic servitude from Peru, Argentina, Colombia, and Bolivia, though authorities find it difficult to distinguish trafficking victims from economic migrants.

The Government of Chile does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. The government made resources available to child victims of sexual exploitation and their families, and law enforcement investigated a number of cases involving the sexual exploitation of minors. However, the government considered trafficking a localized problem and had no national strategy to identify trafficking situations or track and coordinate law enforcement efforts. Chile should develop a national plan that addresses trafficking victims of all ages, including forced labor trafficking, and coordinate efforts to train officials, inform the public, and prosecute traffickers.


Authorities took action against some traffickers during the reporting period, but lack of a nationally coordinated enforcement strategy made it difficult to gather relevant data about trafficking-related cases. The trafficking law addresses only transborder activities related to prostitution; other laws can be used to address trafficking crimes within Chile and the government enacted additional laws that targeted sexual exploitation of children. Authorities indicted a senator for sexual misconduct with minors; a prominent businessman and at least 13 associates were indicted on charges related to the prostitution of 25 minors. Some of the 37 investigations initiated in 2003-2004 regarding reports of sexual exploitation of minors, which included child pornography, were related to trafficking. Law enforcement launched at least three additional investigations involving 12 suspects during the reporting period; one resulted in nine convictions for prostitution of minors. There was no evidence that the government promoted or condoned trafficking and government corruption was minimal.


The Chilean Government provided some protection to victims of trafficking. Most assistance was focused on children. Help for child victims included placement in protective custody with SENAME, counseling, and psychological assistance. Names of child victims were not released to the public and judicial reforms instituted throughout most of the country included provisions for victims to bring legal action against their traffickers and seek restitution. The government worked with the Government of Japan to repatriate a Chilean trafficking victim who had been trafficked for sexual exploitation, and assisted in the repatriation of four Bolivian minors who had been trafficked to Chile.

The government increased funding for programs targeting at-risk children and their families and ran facilities for street children and abused children. The government also provided financial support for civil society activities, although funded NGOs largely worked on broader social programs.


The government lacked a national plan of action to coordinate anti-trafficking activities. Government education campaigns focused on keeping children in school and reducing violence against women and children. Most training for government workers related to sexual abuse and sexual exploitation of minors. The University of Chile worked with IOM to provide anti-trafficking training to government personnel and NGOs in three major cities in August 2004, and 20 regional prosecutors received training during the reporting period.


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