Christ the Redeemer, the iconic statue of Rio de Janeiro, glowed orange on Wednesday evening. The colored lights were installed to bring awareness to the Day Against Human Trafficking and Missing Persons.
According to Globo, a Brazilian news outlet, victims´ families waited at the statue´s feet to watch the ceremony. Jovita Belfort, as quoted by The Guardian, said “her daughter´s unexplained disappearance is a fate worse than death”.
Along with Brazil´s push towards awareness and campaigns, September 10th also marked the launch date for a new safety tool, BIAmap, to help locate missing persons.
On a global scale, human trafficking is estimated to affect 21 million. The issue is especially rampant in Brazil, where government statistics report that 22 people disappear every 45 minutes.
Over the years Peru has become a point of transit, destination as well as a source of human trafficking. Earlier in 2014, La Republica reported that reports of human trafficking had increased by 60%. Over half of the reported victims were between the ages of 13 and 17 and had been contacted through Facebook.