Tlaxcala has among the highest incidence of human trafficking-particularly of women and girls-in all of Mexico. Over 18,000 people are estimated to make their livelihood in trafficking. It is such a common phenomenon that it is considered a legitimate profession, one that brings both prestige and power. When asked what profession they want to go into, many young people in Tlaxcala reportedly say human trafficking. The prevalence of human trafficking is the result of deeply entrenched gender norms and the belief that women are less valuable than men.
Gender-based violence is also prevalent in Tlaxcala, with the National Institute of Statistics and Geography reporting in 2013 that 35% of young women ages 15 to 17 reported experiencing at least one incident of violence from their partner, increasing to 40% among young women who were married or living with their partner. Violence is also common in schools, with 77% of students in the 2011 National Survey on Dynamics of Household Relationships reporting having experienced humiliation, insults or being ignored, and 38% reporting that they had suffered physical harm or sexual abuse. Young people acquire ideas and attitudes in childhood that legitimize and reproduce violence later in their lives. Power inequities manifest in dating relationships and with a rising pregnancy rate among very young adolescents in Mexico, there is the need for earlier comprehensive sexual and reproductive health education for 10-14 year olds.
Founded in 2000 by a group of young people after their friend was murdered by another youth, Cauce Ciudadano A.C. seeks to train young people to become agents of social change to prevent, treat, mitigate and repair the damage caused by violence and organized crime. Since its founding, Cauce has worked in 62 municipalities in 22 Mexican states. The organization has four focus areas: recreational and educational workshops to develop life skills among youth; crime prevention among young people living in areas with high crime rates; training processes that allow young people to acquire job skills and psychosocial skills to improve their quality of life; and influencing public policy related to youth rights. Cauce’s program model, which seeks to decrease gender-based violence by encouraging young people to question the values and practices that lead to such violence, received a Recognition of Excellence from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) for the Juscelino Kubitschek Award (2013) and Honorable Mention in the World Bank’s Regional Contest on Initiatives to Promote Gender Equality in Latin America and the Caribbean (2014).
EMpower’s 2nd grant to Cauce Ciudadano A.C. would support training in gender equality, sexual and reproductive health, and the prevention of gender-based violence for 1,600 secondary students and 240 adults in eight schools.
Primary Location: Tlaxcala
Funded Since: 2016
Our Underwriters pay for all of our administrative and fundraising costs, so 100% of your donation goes directly to empowering at-risk youth.