Strengthening Trafficking in Persons Prevention and Protection in Guatemala Through Innovation and Collaboration

The Pan American Development Foundation (PADF) fights modern slavery and human trafficking in the Western Highlands of Guatemala through the “Strengthening Trafficking in Persons Prevention and Protection in Guatemala” project, funded by Department of State’s Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons.

The project offers innovative approaches, including the grassroots, training-of-trainer of Volunteer Community Facilitators model. PADF has worked with these Volunteer Community Facilitators to raise the awareness of teachers and students, municipal officials, health care professionals, and others on prevention of trafficking in persons and protection of victims in four prioritized municipalities: San Andres Cuilco and San Ildefonso Ixtahuacán, in Huehuetenango and San Andres Sajcabajá and Santo Tomas Chichicastenango, in El Quiché. During the COVID-19 pandemic, PADF quickly adapted this model to a virtual modality, working closely with Guatemala’s Secretary Against Sexual Violence, Exploitation, and Trafficking in Persons (SVET, in Spanish) to house the virtual training on their servers for sustainability.

On a national level, project efforts have focused on building institutional capacity of Guatemala’s Secretary of Social Welfare (SBS, in Spanish) and SVET, as well as providing technical assistance in the transition of shelters from SVET to SBS. PADF has also trained and raised the awareness of justice sector officials, includes judges of peace and family court judges across the country, ensuring they understand how to detect victims of trafficking in persons and are aware of the procedures to follow when they do.

Key Achievements:

694 victims of trafficking in persons received comprehensive, specialized ambulatory attention or care in shelters.

100% of psychologists, social workers, and lawyers of the SBS’ 16 departmental headquarters and 2 specialized shelters trained on attention to victims of trafficking in persons.

2 protocols developed and institutionalized for attention to child and adolescent victims of trafficking in persons in the SBS.

PADF, in collaboration with the Organization of American States and SVET, created the first guide for comprehensive, specialized attention to LGBTQI+ adult victims of trafficking in Guatemala.

491,248 individuals reached through public awareness campaigns on trafficking in persons in radio, television, and social media.

384 frontline actors (judges of peace, judges for youth, and civil society actors) trained in detection of possible victims of trafficking in persons.

225 local leaders trained as Volunteer Community Facilitators to conduct community education on trafficking in persons and provide orientation to potential victims.

5 local, Volunteer Community Facilitators-led groups created to prevent trafficking in persons in prioritized municipalities and received buy-in from municipal authorities.

Animation: Innovative Approach

Animation: Collaboration and Partnerships

Partner Testimony: Refugio de la Niñez (in Spanish)

Partner Testimony: Secretaría de Bienestar Social (in Spanish)

Video: Combatting Trafficking in Persons in Ixtahuacan

Success Stories (in Spanish)

Photo Gallery: Preventing and Protecting Against Trafficking in Persons in Guatemala

Photo of Mayra Alarcón

Mayra Alarcón Alba

Project Director


Guía de capacitación para facilitadoras comunitarias para la prevención de la trata de personas

Guía para la atención integral a personas LGBTIQ+ mayores de edad, víctimas de trata de personas en Guatemala

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