Here’s a fact that you probably don’t know: the world’s most southern city is called Ushuaia, and it’s in Argentina. It’s located in the Southern tip of the South American continent, which means its 67,000 residents live closer to Antarctica than anyone else in the world.
Like other port cities, Ushuaia has always had high demand for prostitution. After weeks or months at sea, men are eager to spend their money on food, alcohol, and women.
Alika Kinan was in the sex industry in Ushuaia for 20 years. In 2016, she became the first survivor of human trafficking in Argentina to win an award for damages in a civil sex trafficking case. In other words, she successfully sued her trafficker and the state, winning total settlement of about $50,000.
My mother was prostituted. My grandmother and my aunts were prostituted. My father was a consumer of prostitution and also a pimp. I don’t know where this endless chain of prostitution that runs throughout my whole family begins or ends.
Alina Kinan, Survivor of sexual exploitation,
As quoted in Encuentro
Even in beautiful and remote places, humans can and do exploit each other. While $50,000 is a small drop in the bucket when you consider how much Alika’s traffickers made from her abuse over decades, her actions have inspired other women in Argentina to think about suing their traffickers too.
This is a good precedent, because the thing that traffickers cherish most – often even more than their physical freedom – is money. Hopefully we will see way more of this, but with bigger dollar figures.