Monica Hurtado researches human trafficking and the sexual exploitation of children. She is a consultant for the International Organization for Migrations and the International Labor Organization in Bogota, Colombia.
"The trafficking of people, which corresponds to modern slavery, is one of the most prosperous businesses in the world," Monica said. "Unfortunately, the problem of human trafficking is often not considered a priority. In Colombia, armed conflict and drug-trafficking have greater visibility."
Monica compiles statistics on victims of human trafficking and prosecutions, obtaining information from police officers, members of other security agencies, the courts, the General Attorney's Office, and international and national non-government organizations.
"My work shows that both the armed conflict and drug trafficking have helped to increase the number of trafficking victims," Monica said. "These activities go hand-in-hand with sexual exploitation and forced labor. I am now working on a study on the sexual exploitation of children, another 'invisible' problem in Colombia and around the world."