Belén López Arrieta - Ecuador

Hello and good morning to everyone. My name is Belén López, and I am from Ecuador. If you excuse me, I am going to place my flag here, in order to position my country in a space like this one. Unfortunately, countries like mine are yet to have their voices heard in these types of places. That is why I wanted to thank you for taking into consideration my country and for inviting me here.

The project, which by the way has in fact been achieved and is running, is called Integral Attention Program to Women who have been Victims of Trafficking with Emphasis on Work Reinsertion. We have seen the basic need for women, after being in foster shelters, to be reintegrated into society on the basis of work. The first stage of the project is to strengthen an existing shelter in my country, which belongs to the Alas de Colibrí foundation, and houses more or less twenty to twenty-five women from eighteen to twenty-nine years old. This foster shelter really does have many needs these days, and my idea would be to strengthen its technical team. The women, after nine months in the sheltter, would then go to the second stage of the project, which is the outpatient stage.

The program has two phases, practical and theoretical. In the theoretical part we will emphasize the education of human rights. After this, the girls will also be doing a practical part in public and private institutions. This stage lasts from twelve to twenty-four months. A very important part of this project is that, while these women are in this second stage, they will receive a salary for their internship in an institution, and they will also receive social security. But it is important for you to know that the law in our country enables us to implement this type of project. This project is obviously adapted to the reality of Ecuador, and everything that I have done is framed within the normative reality of my country.

When these twelve or twenty-four months are over, we then move on to stage number three. The women will receive a certification for all that they have done and learned during stage two. This will guarantee them the possibility of a job. We are going to give them a tool because we want to break the paradigm centered around the victim, we need to strengthen that human being, to make her feel useful and part of society. This is what we will achieve by certifying their work done and, obviously, by guaranteeing something not only transitory, but a life-long job.

This is the project, and I hope it will be taken into account; it is ongoing already, but obviously we are in need of financial help. Countries like mine need this type of assistance. There are a lot of young activists in my country, but unfortunately we do not have the space and the help needed, and for that reason I do not want to talk to you as Belén López, but as my country.

We cannot let down all the great authors and philosophers that have been within these walls. Please consider this project, consider that Ecuador needs your help, and, well, if you have any questions I would be pleased to answer them.

Thank you.

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