Issues of human trafficking on Barbados agenda
Human trafficking is a rapidly expanding global phenomenon, and presents itself in many ways including domestic servitude, forced labour and sexual slavery.
BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Monday March 19, 2012 – Barbados is taking all necessary precautions to effectively deal with issues of human trafficking.
To this end, the government has established a National Task Force for the Prevention of Trafficking in Persons.
The 13-member body is chaired by Attorney-general, Mr. Adriel Brathwaite, and will include representatives from the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Social Care, Constituency Empowerment, and Community Development, and Family, Culture Sports and Youth.
In addition, officials from the Royal Barbados Police Force, the Immigration Department, the Professional Women’s Club of Barbados, and the Barbados Red Cross, will sit on the committee.
The mandate of the Task Force will be to co-ordinate Barbados’ anti-trafficking activities and developing and overseeing the implementation of the National Action Plan for the Prevention of Trafficking in Persons.
Minister of Family, Culture, Sports and Youth, Stephen Lashley said the group will also be responsible for establishing policies to enable government to work with non-governmental organisations and other sectors of civil society to prevent trafficking and provide assistance to victims.
Part of the plan also involves the training of those likely to deal with issues of human trafficking upfront. Those include police, immigration and other relevant officials.
Mr. Lashley added that efforts will also be made to co-operate with countries being used as a transit location, those from which such victims are sourced, or those where the victims are destined to go.
Barbados signed the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organised Crime and its Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, especially women and children on September 26, 2001.
Human trafficking is a rapidly expanding global phenomenon, and presents itself in many ways including domestic servitude, forced labour and sexual slavery. Victims of human trafficking are often promised a better life and good jobs if they left their country to go to another, but are then forced into dangerous, illegal or abuse work.
The Untied States of America’s annual Trafficking in Persons Report of 2009 identified Barbados as a source and destination country for men and women being trafficking for sexual and labour exploitation.
This prompted government to intensify its efforts to eradicate the scourge by implementing a number of measures including the enactment of the Transnational Organised Crime (Prevention and Control) Act, 2011-13, which was proclaimed on January 16, 2012.