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Driven by economic hardship into prostitution, women loiter in the doorways of dozens of brothels lining the street in the seedy red-light district of Chimaltenango. Driven by the same economic forces, children, some as young as ten, toil alongside their parents in a municipal landfill not far from the capital, salvaging recyclable plastic from heaps of rubbish.
On April 21, poloffs visited a red-light district and a nearby landfill to assess the incidence of child and forced labor. An NGO is seeking to provide alternatives to these impoverished and exploited workers. U On April 21, poloffs visited two brothels in Chimaltenango, 50 kilometers from the capital, and a landfill in nearby Alotenango for a closer look at Guatemala's marginalized informal labor sector. Poloffs were accompanied by the director and a social worker of "The God's Child Project" GCP , a well-established NGO that seeks to rescue and assist victims of sexual and labor exploitation.
Poloffs spoke with prostitutes and child scavengers about their work conditions and challenges. NGO Assistance to Victims 3. According to Director of Operations Charles Moore, ITEMP initially focused on raising public awareness and did not formally begin to identify or rescue trafficked and exploited victims until January GCP currently employs six social workers who provide critical tips on suspected victims to ITEMP for follow-up investigation and rescue.
U GCP provides shelter and services to the homeless. Its shelter in Antigua has a capacity of and separate sections for single men and for families. It houses homeless persons per day, with an average stay of six months. There is no maximum length of stay. The only restrictions on residents are prohibitions on weapons, drugs, and alcohol. According to Moore, the shelter is GCP's most important asset and its best source of information on victims. U Chimaltenango's seedy red-light district is home to some 40 brothels that service local residents as well as traveling businessmen.
With the constant rumble of overloaded trucks on the nearby Inter-American Highway, poloffs spoke with year-old brothel manager "Max" and year-old transvestite prostitute "Valeska. Six prostitutes work the morning shift, while the other six work the night shift five days a week.