Gabriela Fallas Jímenez - Costa Rica

Good evening, my name is Gabriela Fallas and I am from Costa Rica. I come in representation of Rahab Foundation, whose mission is to facilitate significant changes in the quality of life of people who have been involved in human trafficking and sexual exploitation, throughout an educational process, the formation of an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ, and formal labor reinsertion.

Rahab Foundation is a pioneer in Costa Rica, a pioneer in rehabilitating victims. Since 1997, it has dedicated itself to the restitution of human rights, and it has developed five pioneering programs focused on attention, prevention, protection, promotion, and the training of government personnel and civil society. Rahab Foundation has collaborated with the FBI in the United States on the training and capacitation of judges, prosecutors and police officers against organized crime. Since 2004, the Rahab Foundation has belonged to a coalition that trains leaders from different parts of the world. Rahab Foundation also coordinates this training and capacitation throughout Latin America and the Caribbean.

Foundation Rahab’s objectives are:

·      An integral rehabilitation of the victims and their families.

·      Restitution of human rights.

·      Facilitating and incorporating the target population in the educational process.

·      Facilitating labor-training processes in different technical areas.

·      Creating employment options and microenterprises as strategies to generate decent jobs.

·      Reintegration into society in an integral way.

The obstacles:

·      Not having sufficient funds for government-sponsored programs that provide these services to the population.

·      Interinstitutional difficulty; not having enough staff made aware and trained in the problem to provide quality care.

Solutions:

·      Funding from national and international funds.

·      Mapping of organizations, programs and strategic alliances.

·      Proper training of staff members. 

This is what I am here to present to you today; it is not a project, but a program that is already being carried out in Costa Rica, of which I am a witness, having been a victim of exploitation. This program has helped me out a lot. It is really true, I have been able to get to know myself as a human being, and believe me that back in my country, I have seen so many victims recover through this program, and be able to look ahead. Today I speak to you as a victim of exploitation, and believe me that the love that the organization has for each of us, the victims, is special, it is unique, they make us believe in our dreams, to be free again, and to understand our rights that have been violated. I hope many people become aware of this issue and help all those in need. Today I come to speak on behalf of all those people who today are victims and who need the support of all of you.

Thank you, and may God bless you all.

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