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Manuel Capellin

Honduras , Class of 2008

Manuel Capellin

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In 1992, Manuel Capellin joined Covenant House’s Casa Alianza Honduras, and began caring for street youth, homeless children, and victims of trafficking.

Since then, he has been tirelessly advocating for and helping youth who have been abused and trafficked. They run three residential shelters, one specifically for victims of trafficking. They provide shelter for almost 180 children a night, both boys and girls. They attempt to combat the gang membership common in Honduras, and provide services for boys who are struggling with substance abuse issues. Between 1987 and 2011, Casa Alianza provided care for over 40,000 children. They provide legal support when necessary, they engage in street outreach to homeless youth, and they provide residential services of all kinds in their shelters. They attempt to prevent trafficking by meeting and re-integrating the children returned to Honduras every week by the Mexican authorities.

In 2008, they opened the querebines center. This is a residential facility specifically for girls who have been trafficked for sexual exploitation. The shelter is connected to the judicial system, and serves as a place where girls can stay and get help, hidden away from their traffickers. The shelter helps about 60 to 80 girls a year, and provides services ranging from legal assistance to psychological counseling and vocational training. The center helps prosecutors to bring cases to court. Mr. Capellin, the director of the center, and of Casa Alianza as a whole, tirelessly continues to advocate for victims of human trafficking, as well as for homeless and at-risk youth. He also launched a public awareness campaign with the assistance of the Mayor of Tegucigalpa. IN 2008, he was given a Trafficking in Persons Report Award in recognition of his efforts to combat human trafficking. He continued to provide these services, and to expand the organization’s ability to help youth in Honduras, until his retirement in 2012.

In the 2014 TIP Report, Honduras was listed as a Tier 2 country. It is primarily a source, and a transit country for both forced labor and sex trafficking. Honduran women and girls are trafficked for the purposes of sexual exploitation all throughout Latin America. Young migrants are often vulnerable to various types of trafficking.

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