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Dr. Rita Maria Herandez (USA)
Rita Maria advocates for victims of commercial sexual exploitation around the world, especially in Latin America and is committed to bring to light the responsibility of the sex buyer in the cycle of exploitation.
Dr. Rita Maria Hernández has worked for 10 years on issues related to Human Trafficking, especially sexual exploitation and violence against women and girls. Much of her work is related to frontline services offered to the prostituted women and teenage girls of the red light district of Tijuana, Mexico. She also organizes awareness campaigns and research projects to communicate about the very thin line that exists between sexual trafficking and prostitution, and the reality that this is a transnational crime, especially in the border towns between Mexico and the United States. She is currently developing the Path of Grace program that will provide exit services for the women of the red light district, and their children.
Rita Works in advocacy and lobby related to the Mexican trafficking legislation and the importance of complying with Article 9.5 of the Palermo Protocol that commits states to discourage the demand that fosters all forms of exploitation.
She was Executive Director of Comisión Unidos vs Trata A.C from 2015 - 2019 the organization that was instrumental in passing the Human Trafficking Law in Mexico and runs the first shelter for sexually exploited boys and girls. She serves as Vice Chair of the International Coalition for the Abolition of Prostitution. Currently she is owner and CEO of Highland Prince Academy a private School in Tijuana and Executive Director of Mares A.C. an organization that fights Commercial sexual exploitation as well as REgional Coordinator for Latin America and Spain for Rescue Freedom International.
Rita has a Masters Degree in Education Research and a Doctorate in Public Policy. She holds dual US and Mexican citizenship.
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