He explained that the relatives “facilitated” the shipment of the children from the town of Baru, 525 kilometers (326 miles) southwest of Panama City, to the Costa Rican border, to be sexually exploited.
In a statement, the Panamanian prosecutor’s office confirmed that the number of children rescued was ten.
Panamanian police in Baru as well as Costa Rican authorities in the border towns of Barrio San Jorge and Laurel worked together to dismantle the sex trafficking ring and make the arrests.
Marquez said the detainees can face prison sentences ranging from 20 to 30 years.
According to ILO, 24.9 million people are victims of forced labor, 16 million people are trafficked for forced labor in the private economy. (Private economy includes: private individuals, groups, or companies in all sectors except the commercial sex industry).
4.8 million people are trafficked for forced sexual exploitation, 4.1 million people are trafficked for forced labor in state-imposed forced labor.
It is estimated that 20.9 million people are trafficked worldwide, women and girls are disproportionately affected by human trafficking, accounting for 71% of all victims. (ILO, 2017)