Papilio is a non-profit organization committed to fighting human trafficking in Spain. The Papilio leadership team partners with local relief agencies such as the Red Cross as well as other NGOs and both the local and national Spanish Government to provide a unique presence on the frontlines through direct contact with girls and young women entrapped in the sex industry. Papilio means butterfly in Latin, and the name was chosen by the founders as a reminder that all people should have such freedom as the flight of a butterfly and that each young woman has such beautiful potential.
Taste of Freedom: V.I.P 2020
Like Papilio, our fourth annual Taste of Freedom event has been forced to adapt to the changing circumstances as we seek to find creative means to meet needs by raising support and spreading awareness to fight sex trafficking.
Four ways to support Papilio:
- Participate in one of our COVID-compliant Taste of Freedom 2020 live events, In Person, on Nov. 14th or 15th at Northwest Cellars **spaces are limited, reserve your seat before they sell out!**
- Plan a personal Taste of Freedom in the comfort of your own home, on your own schedule, Virtually
- Purchase custom labeled wine bottles, for yourself and as holiday gifts
- Promote the Partner with Papilio social media blitz Nov. 16th – 22nd to encourage others to give
Papilio Continues to Serve During COVID-19 Crisis
While the needs have changed over the months, so has the response of Papilio as they continue to work on the frontlines, even as the risks to their own well-being have increased. Yet even during these times new doors of opportunity have been opened and more women and children have been rescued over the last six months than any previous half year since their formal work began in 2017. And just as the needs on the streets and in the brothels continue, so does the work of Papilio. To keep this important work of justice possible, Papilio needs ongoing financial support to continue their work of relief, rescue, and restoration – one life at a time.
Due to the potential harm and risks involved, the identities of Papilio team members and the specific areas they work in are not published on-line to protect their safety. The organization is lead by a small, all volunteer but extremely passionate leadership team that personally provides much of the resources. Other support comes from occasional donors as they become aware of the work.
Globally, sex trafficking is an epidemic with victims numbering in the millions. A report from the Spanish State Department (2010) stated that 200,000 – 400,000 women worked in prostitution in Spain, 90% of whom were trafficked. Prostitution is not illegal in Spain, in fact, even reputable newspapers publish adds soliciting clients. Trafficking is truly a profitable industry as trafficking cartels from Eastern Europe, Nigeria, and most recently China all have highly sophisticated systems to both recruit and control those forced into prostitution. In Southern Spain the vast majority of the girls on the streets are Nigerians who fled to Europe in hopes of a better life but became indebted and enslaved, not only losing their dream but losing their freedom.
Papilio exists to bring comfort, humanitarian need, and love to the women on the streets with the hope of providing a means of rescue whenever possible. Team members head out to the streets, rain or shine, late in the evening to regularly build relationship with the young women and even the club and brothel owners. On any given night they will interact with up to 100 girls, providing offers of clothing, hot chocolate, and the most popular provision, hygiene packs. They also bring hugs, comforting words and share resources that most are not aware of or have been scared to accept.
In addition to their frontline work on the streets, Papilio partners with local municipalities to provide anti-trafficking education in local high schools and to promote awareness in the communities. Those who serve with Papilio realize that the sex-trafficking issue is much greater than they have the ability to change however their hope and motivation comes in knowing they can and have made a difference in the lives of young women, one at a time.
Current Financial Needs
Funding is needed to acquire supplies to share with the women to continue making the evening street visits possible, to facilitate rescues when the opportunity occurs, and to support women in aftercare programs.
For more information, contact Papilio U.S. Representative,
Konnie Drews, at firstname.lastname@example.org