Four Nicaraguan minors, who were forced into prostitution by two women that are currently under arrest, were rescued by Costa Rican authorities at a bar located in the country’s north, “Patronato de la Infancia” or PANI (a private entity benefitting children) told the press on March 17.
Fanny Cordero, PANI’s spokeswomen, said that the teenagers were between the ages of 14 and 17.
On the evening of March 15, the police arrived at a bar located in Puerto Viejo de Sarapiquí, 80 km to the north of the capital, near the Nicaraguan border. When the police arrived, one of the minors was being forced to enter a room with a customer.
One of the girls, age 15, said that she was taken from Nicaragua, with a promise of a nanny job, for which she would be paid $20 per hour. However, she was forced into prostitution by both women, also from Nicaragua. “Every year, PANI assists an average of 35 children that are victims of human trafficking,” Cordero said to the daily La Nación.
Costa Rica has enforced a law to counter human trafficking since February 2013, which sets eight to 16-year sentences to those promoting human trafficking activities involving minors in exchange for any sort of payment.