Jamaica News: Jamaica’s international development and diplomatic partners have commended the Government on efforts being made to combat trafficking in persons and have committed to continuing to support the fight locally.
Head of the European Union (EU) Delegation, Malgorzata Wasilewska, in noting the important steps being taken to eliminate the scourge, encouraged increased vigilance and called on citizens to report suspected cases of human trafficking.
“The EU continues to encourage the Government to do everything in its power to stop this heinous crime, and stands ready to support the human rights and dignity of all persons,” she pledged.
“We don’t just talk about it, we actively support initiatives and activities to bring this barbaric practice to an end,” she added.
She was speaking at the start of the two-day National Task Force Against Trafficking in Persons (NATFATIP) International Human Trafficking Conference on Wednesday (July 25) at the Meliá Braco Hotel in Trelawny.
Deputy Chief of Mission, United States Embassy, Mark Seibel, noted that the partnership between his country and Jamaica is strong and growing, with multiple US agencies – the State Department, Department of Homeland Security and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) – working closely with the island’s law enforcement and the Ministry of Justice.
Mr. Seibel said the US agencies have sponsored training programmes, public information and sensitisation campaigns as well as guest-speaker programmes to address trafficking from a variety of perspectives, including prevention, protection and prosecution.
The countries recently signed a four-year Child Protection Compact Partnership to strengthen Jamaican efforts to prosecute and punish child traffickers, provide comprehensive services to the victims and help deter the occurrence of trafficking.
“I am grateful for the partnership on the issue with the Jamaican Government, [and] I want to commend the Government and the people of Jamaica for their leadership in fighting against [human trafficking],” Mr. Seibel said.
“This conference gives us a chance to reflect on how far we have come and the next steps to take together,” he added.
High Commissioner of Canada to Jamaica, Laurie Peters, also voiced her Government’s commitment to a multidisciplinary and collaborative approach in responding to trafficking in persons.
“These responses must encompass strong legislative and non-legislative measures, such as targeted policies and programming, awareness campaigns, international assistance, and trauma-informed services for survivors,” she pointed out.
Jamaica retained a Tier 2 ranking in the latest human trafficking report published by the US State Department.
According to NATFATIP, between 2010 and 2018, more than 750 anti-trafficking operations were conducted, resulting in 82 victims being rescued, 30 suspected traffickers arrested, and the dismantling of three prostitution rings.
Source: JIS News