Pasos Libres’ CEO participated in the International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) on trafficking in persons.
The CEO of Pasos Libres, Sebastián Arévalo Sánchez, participated in the International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) on human trafficking of the United States Department of State from August 19 to September 9, 2023. Sebastián was part of a group of 17 experts from Latin America made up of prosecutors, police and border patrol agents, public officials and leaders of non-profit organizations who visited Washington, Charlotte, Minneapolis and New York to learn about the prevention, protection, prosecution, and partnership-building efforts of the United States to disrupt sexual exploitation, forced labour, and labour exploitation.
The program agenda included more than 20 official meetings and dialogues with federal, state and local public institutions, law enforcement agencies, companies, non-profit organizations and international cooperation agencies such as the Department of State, the Department of Labor, the Department of Homeland Security, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Polaris, The Freedom Fund, Business Executives for National Security (BENS), ECPAT International, Safe Harbor Minnesota, St. Paul and the Hennepin County Prosecutor’s Office, among others.
During the program, Sebastián had the opportunity to share about Pasos Libre programs and dialogue with host organizations and their counterparts from the region about the organization’s particular priorities and approaches to addressing human trafficking and other forms of modern slavery in Latin America. Part of Pasos Libre’s agenda on this visit focused on understanding how the United States collaborates with the financial sector to face money laundering linked to human trafficking and the risk management strategies to address forced labour in the supply chains.
“This program allowed me to identify good practices in the United States that we can adopt in Colombia and Latin America, efforts that we can join and strengthen, professionals with whom we can collaborate, and common challenges that we must overcome by designing solutions and cooperating between multiple sectors” highlighted Sebastián.
During the visit, non-profit organisations’ important role and immense contribution, impact and influence in the United States in the fight against modern slavery was also evident. The above motivates the Pasos Libres team to continue scaling its programs to impact at scale and continue contributing to national, regional and global efforts to eradicate all forms of exploitation.
The International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) is the U.S. Department of State’s premier professional exchange program. Through short-term visits to the United States, current and emerging foreign leaders in various fields experience this country firsthand and cultivate lasting relationships with their American counterparts. Sebastián was nominated to participate in that program by the Public Affairs Section of the United States Embassy in Bogotá and selected by an evaluation committee in Washington.