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NEW YORK (Feb. 6, 2024) Today, the Human Rights Foundation (HRF) published a new report, “Sex Trafficking in Cuba: A Form of Gender-Based Violence and Human Trafficking,” as part of its ongoing series exploring the links between human trafficking and authoritarianism.

With high levels of sex tourism and prostitution, Cuba is an important destination, transit country, and source for sex trafficking around the world. Victims of trafficking, predominantly women and girls, are subjected to physical abuse, sexual violence, gender discrimination, and poverty.

Cuba’s totalitarian regime has made little effort to report sex trafficking statistics — much less act on them. The lack of incentive stems from the regime’s heavy reliance on tourism and its near-complete industry control. Nonprofits and independent organizations attempting to address this issue are often prosecuted, deterring them from collecting information or taking measures to protect victims. 

HRF’s new report outlines current international law on sex trafficking and highlights Cuba’s failure to comply with these standards. HRF emphasizes how the Cuban regime’s totalitarian and oppressive nature is heavily tied to its inaction, shedding light on a heinous crime that has gone largely unnoticed for decades.


The Human Rights Foundation (HRF) is a nonpartisan nonprofit organization that promotes and protects human rights globally, with a focus on closed societies. HRF’s Human Trafficking & Authoritarianism program explores the global state of human trafficking and its connection with authoritarianism.

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