“It’s our responsibility to facilitate encounters to articulate more effective ideas regarding these problems, of which people are often unaware,” stated Cenesex director Mariela Castro Espín. Photo: Yander Zamora

The Second International Symposium on Gender Violence, Prostitution, Sex Tourism and Human Trafficking, organized by the National Center for Sex Education (Cenesex) is taking place January 23-25 in Havana’s La Pradera Convention Center.

This time the event, entitled “Berta Cáceres in memoriam,” in honor of the social activist from Honduras who was murdered in March 2016, will feature scientific debates by researchers and political figures from countries such as Germany, Sweden, Nicaragua, Canada and the United States. Participants will discuss causes, alternative solutions and efforts related to these issues, which affect Cuba and the world today.

Establishing a comprehensive national strategy which addresses affirmative action, prevention, and rehabilitation methods is one of the topics that will be focused on during the encounter, as well as protecting victims and dealing with perpetrators.

Mariela Castro Espín, director of Cenesex, noted that training workshops have been undertaken with the National Revolutionary Police, lawyers, judges, and prosecutors across the entire island, in order to expand and refine their knowledge on issues regarding sexual abuse and gender violence.

She highlighted progress made over the last four years since the First Symposium, but also noted that areas still exist which require immediate solutions from the perspective of education, health and community organizations.

“We still have challenges; we aren’t completely satisfied with the progress that has been made. It’s our responsibility to facilitate encounters, to articulate more effective ideas regarding these problems, of which people are often unaware,” stated the director.

The scientific program features debates on different issues such as gender violence, migration, and prostitution, among others, as well as research exchanges by academics from various nations in the region and world.