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Street Children

Human Trafficking & Modern-day Slavery

Poverty drives the unsuspecting poor into the hands of traffickers

Published reports & articles from 2000 to 2025                                 

Republic of Peru

Peru's economy reflects its varied geography - an arid coastal region, the Andes further inland, and tropical lands bordering Colombia and Brazil. Abundant mineral resources are found in the mountainous areas, and Peru's coastal waters provide excellent fishing grounds.

The Peruvian economy grew by more than 4% per year during the period 2002-06, with a stable exchange rate and low inflation. Growth jumped to 9% per year in 2007 and 2008, driven by higher world prices for minerals and metals and the government's aggressive trade liberalization strategies. Peru's rapid expansion has helped to reduce the national poverty rate by about 15% since 2002, though underemployment and inflation remain high.  [The World Factbook, U.S.C.I.A. 2009]

Description: Description: Peru

Peru is a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children trafficked for the purposes of forced labor and commercial sexual exploitation. The majority of human trafficking occurs within the country. The ILO and IOM estimate that more than 20,000 persons are trafficked into conditions of forced labor within Peru, mainly in the mining and logging sectors, agriculture, and brick-making sectors, and as domestic servants. Many trafficking victims are women and girls from impoverished rural regions of the Amazon, recruited and coerced into prostitution in urban nightclubs, bars, and brothels, often through false employment offers or promises of education. Indigenous persons are particularly vulnerable to being subjected to debt bondage by Amazon landowners. Forced child labor remains a problem, particularly in informal gold mines and coca production.   - U.S. State Dept Trafficking in Persons Report, June, 2009  Check out a later country report here and possibly a full TIP Report here



CAUTION:  The following links have been culled from the web to illuminate the situation in Peru.  Some of these links may lead to websites that present allegations that are unsubstantiated or even false.  No attempt has been made to validate their authenticity or to verify their content.



If you are looking for material to use in a term-paper, you are advised to scan the postings on this page and others to see which aspects of Human Trafficking are of particular interest to you.  Would you like to write about Forced-Labor?  Debt Bondage? Prostitution? Forced Begging? Child Soldiers? Sale of Organs? etc.  On the other hand, you might choose to include precursors of trafficking such as poverty and hunger. There is a lot to the subject of Trafficking.  Scan other countries as well.  Draw comparisons between activity in adjacent countries and/or regions.  Meanwhile, check out some of the Term-Paper resources that are available on-line.


Check out some of the Resources for Teachers attached to this website.

HELP for Victims

Ministry of Interior
01518 0000
Country code: 51-



Report: Japan Sex Industry Ensnares Latin Women

Associated Press AP, Lima Peru, April 30, 2005

[accessed 18 July 2013]

"The ties between Japan and Peru are larger for historical reasons, for migratory reasons, for all kinds of reasons, than they are between Colombia and Japan. And it's our position right now in the preliminary study that there are many more victims here," he told The Associated Press.

He said a typical trafficking scenario is that of Irene Oblitas, a Peruvian who told her story last year to her country's media. She said that in 1998 she boarded a plane with three Japanese businessmen who had promised her a job in a plastics factory.

When she arrived she was raped by all three men and sold to a Yakuza organized crime boss, who branded her across the chest with a 6-inch (15-centimeter) rose tattoo. He forced her to provide sexual services to up to 40 clients a day, she said.

The Fight Against Human Trafficking In Peru

Samantha Rodriguez-Silva, The Borgen Project, 25 November 2020

[accessed 3 March 2021]

Traffickers exploit adolescents due to their eagerness to work. When Peruvian schools close down from December to February for the holidays, many students seek employment to obtain extra pocket money. However, traffickers lure these individuals in with false promises of work and high financial compensation. Exploiters take the adolescent males to remote areas of the Amazon rainforest, like the Madre de Dios region, to engage in forced labor in the illegal extraction of gold. Additionally, traffickers obligate female teenagers to offer sex services to the adult miners in the area.


*** ARCHIVES ***

2020 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: Peru

U.S. Dept of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, 30 March 2021

[accessed 21 June 2021]


Forced labor crimes continued to occur in domestic service, agriculture, forestry, mining and related services, factories, counterfeit operations, brick making, and organized street begging. Illegal logging, which had a devastating impact on the landscape and the environment, affected many indigenous communities who found themselves trapped in forced labor. The narcoterrorist organization Shining Path used force and coercion to recruit children to serve as combatants or guards. Shining Path also used force and coercion to subject children and adults to forced labor in agriculture, cultivating or transporting illicit narcotics, and domestic servitude, as well as to carry out terrorist activities.


A government report found the prevalence of child labor was 22 percent in 2018; however, 59 percent of households in extreme poverty had a child laborer. In addition there were four times more child laborers in rural areas than in urban areas. Among the population of working children, 57 percent worked in agriculture and 21 percent worked in small-scale or street retail.

Freedom House Country Report

2020 Edition

[accessed 8 July 2020]


Peruvian women and girls—especially from the indigenous community—fall victim to sex trafficking. Men, women, and children are subject to forced labor in mines and the informal economy. According to the US State Department’s 2019 Trafficking in Persons Report, the government of Peru does not meet the minimum standard for the elimination of trafficking, but has demonstrated significant efforts to ameliorate the problem, including convicting a higher number of people involved in human trafficking.

2017 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor

Office of Child Labor, Forced Labor, and Human Trafficking, Bureau of International Labor Affairs, US Dept of Labor, 2018

[accessed 22 April 2019]

Note:: Also check out this country’s report in the more recent edition DOL Worst Forms of Child Labor

[page 811]

Children in Peru work in informal and small-scale mining, particularly for gold, sometimes in situations of forced labor, and are exposed to hazards, including wall and mine collapses, landslides, explosives accidents, and exposure to mercury and harmful gases. Children are also subjected to commercial sexual exploitation as a result of human trafficking near mining areas. (2; 9; 19; 3; 18; 30; 5; 31) Remnants of the Shining Path terrorist group use children in combat, domestic servitude, and drug trafficking. (3; 4).

IDB launches campaign against human trafficking in Peru - Hotline 0800-2-3232

Inter-American Development Bank News Release, May 23, 2006

[accessed 16 December 2010]

[accessed 11 February 2018]

The Peruvian hotline, 0800-2-3232, is a free and confidential service that provides information to victims of human trafficking and channels complaints to the anti-trafficking arm of the National Police. A similar project targeting only women in Perú in 2005 logged over 7,000 calls in 10 months and resulted in 220 cases of charges related to human trafficking.

Peruvian Nanny Exploited In Shocking ICE Case

KTVU News, Walnut Creek, California, November 18, 2008

[accessed 16 December 2010]

[accessed 11 February 2018]

Agent Welsh and ICE officials won't speak specifically about Dann's case, but the complaint alleges that in July 2006, Dann brought Zoraida Pena-Canal from Peru to Walnut Creek under a three-month visitor's visa.  Investigators say Dann promised Pena she'd live in a big house with a private bathroom and would be paid up to $600 a month to care for Dann's three young boys.  Instead, ICE says Pena became a virtual prisoner for almost two years.  Dann, her children and Pena shared a two-bedroom apartment. Investigators say Pena was forced to sleep on the living room floor while working from dawn to dusk every day, cooking, cleaning and caring for the children.  The complaint alleges Dann didn't pay Pena a salary and actually charged her $15,000 for clothing and other expenses.

Dann allegedly confiscated Pena's passport and visa and physically and verbally abused the nanny, threatening her with deportation if she talked to outsiders.

The complaint alleges Dann smashed Pena's radio and a television set, to prevent her from listening to Spanish language programs that would, quote "put ideas in her head."  Investigators say Dann told Pena: "When you come to the United States, you must suffer."  "They may not be physically restrained, but they're told, 'You're here illegally,'" says Special Agent Walsh. "They may not speak the language, they're told 'If you cause problems or try to get away, I'll report you to immigration and they'll put you in jail.'"  Investigators say Dann even rationed Pena's food, weighing the meat she purchased and hiding fruit from Pena. Neighbors say Pena often appeared daily in the same clothes.

Slavery in Peru

Lily Céspedes, Latin American Press, May 05, 2008

[accessed 16 December 2010]

[accessed 15 June 2017]

According to the report on the trafficking of women for sex trade in Peru, produced in 2005 by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) along with Movimiento El Pozo, eight of every 10 cases identified in Peru are related to domestic trafficking.  “There is a custom of turning over or receiving children or youths whose parents can’t take care of them, who fall, unfortunately, into the hands of human traffickers,” said Tammy Quintanilla Zapata, director of Movimiento El Pozo.

Putting children's right of the local agenda - the experience of the Demuna model in Peru [BOOK]

Save the Children Sweden, 01/01/2004

[accessed 16 December 2010]

[accessed 21 February 2019]

A decade ago, Save the Children Sweden in Peru launched a system of municipal defense centers for children and adolescents, known as the Demunas.  Today there are roughly 600 centers functioning nationwide.

Annual Report Of Activities By The Anti-Trafficking In Persons Section Of The Organization Of American States - April 2005 To March 2006 [DOC]

SIXTH MEETING OF MINISTERS OF JUSTICE OR OF MINISTERS OR ATTORNEYS GENERAL OF THE AMERICAS, April 2005 to March 2006, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, 13 April 2006

[accessed 7 September 2014]

PERU - During January 2006, the OAS/CIM and the Peruvian Ministry of Foreign Affairs jointly sponsored a training seminar on trafficking in persons held in the city of Lima. Experts from Colombia, Chile, the Dominican Republic, Paraguay, Panama, and Japan participated in the event and discussed best practices and strategies for combating human trafficking in the hemisphere. More than a hundred Peruvian civil servants, members of Congress, police officers, immigration officials, NGOs, diplomats, and journalists attended the seminar, which took place at the headquarters of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In Peru, the OAS/CIM also met with officials from the “Disappeared Peruvians” project, which uses internet technology to build a database for locating disappeared persons. The OAS/CIM is working with this organization, which would like to present this project to all the countries of the hemisphere.

Four Child Prostitution Rings Identified In Peru

EFE News Service, 16 March 2004

At one time this article had been archived and may possibly still be accessible [here]

[accessed 10 September 2011]

The NGO has identified a child prostitution network in the jungle city of Iquitos that smuggles their victims to the Peruvian capital and the northern city of Chiclayo to be sexually exploited.

Save the Children also denounced another gang that recruits minors and forces them to prostitute themselves in residential neighborhood bars in Lima frequented by mostly Asian sailors during their brief shore leaves from the neighboring port of Callao.

The investigation detected similar criminal operations in the Andean cities of Cuzco, Puno and Abancay.

One criminal outfit offers tour "packages" to domestic and foreign tourists in Iquitos that include the sexual favors of a minor, according to the report.

New York Couple Pleads Guilty to Alien Smuggling Charges

Bureau of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State, 09 November 2004

[accessed 16 December 2010]

[accessed 21 February 2019]

The press release says that the couple devised a scheme starting in 1999 to obtain phony visas to get Peruvians into the United States illegally. They charged the would-be immigrants a hefty sum for the trip. Then the couple threatened to turn their victims over to authorities, keeping them in forced labor situations and confiscating their wages.

Concluding Observations of the Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC)

UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, 28 January 2000

[accessed 16 December 2010]

[7] The Committee welcomes the State party's accession to the Hague Convention on the Protection of Children and Cooperation in Respect of Inter-country Adoption


Human Rights Reports » 2005 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices

U.S. Dept of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, March 8, 2006

[accessed 10 February 2020]

TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS – Internal trafficking was a far greater problem. NGOs and international organizations maintained that significant domestic trafficking occurred, particularly to bring underage women from the Amazon district or the sierras into the cities or into mining areas to work as prostitutes or to work in homes as domestics. This trafficking took place through informal networks that could involve boyfriends and even the families of the young women victims.

The Department of Labor’s 2004 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor

U.S. Dept of Labor Bureau of International Labor Affairs, 2005

[accessed 16 December 2010]

Note:: Also check out this country’s report in the more recent edition DOL Worst Forms of Child Labor

INCIDENCE AND NATURE OF CHILD LABOR - There is internal trafficking of children for commercial sexual exploitation and domestic service in Peru.

CHILD LABOR LAWS AND ENFORCEMENT - In 2004, new laws were enacted by the Government to protect children from exploitation by adults, including trafficking in persons and sexual exploitation.

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