KINGSTON, Jamaica, Thursday March 31, 2016 – The authorities in Jamaica are taking the country’s fight against human trafficking into the schools, with a full roll-out of a Trafficking in Persons (TIP) curriculum in September this year.
It will be implemented in over 500 primary and secondary institutions, following the success of a pilot in 49 institutions last September.
The curriculum, jointly developed with the National Task Force Against Trafficking in Persons, aims to promote greater awareness among students and teachers of human trafficking – which is defined as the trade of humans, most commonly for forced labour, sexual slavery, or commercial sexual exploitation by traffickers or other persons –, helping them to see the issue as a global crime and identify means of preventing it.
Assistant Chief Education Officer in the Core Curriculum Unit, Dr Clover Hamilton-Flowers, said the curriculum will be integrated in lessons in Social Studies, Religious Education, Information and Communications Technology (ICT), Physical Education and Sports, and History.
Teachers have been trained to understand the focus of the curriculum, the methodology they are supposed to use to incorporate it based on their context.
And Director of Safety and Security in Schools, Assistant Superintendent of Police Coleridge Minto, says School Resource Officers (SROs) are also being prepared “so that they, too, can help to promote the awareness of trafficking in persons and the dangers associated with it.”
He said sensitization sessions have also been held at several high schools.
Meanwhile, Minto says the Ministry of Education has incorporated information on human trafficking in its Safety and Security Guidelines, which were drafted and issued to schools at the start of the 2015/16 academic year.
The manual defines trafficking in persons and provides guidelines in terms of actions which institutions can and should take, in the event of a suspected case, which would involve the police and other key stakeholders.