Barbados Not Compromising On Human Trafficking Issues

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Barbados cannot compromise on issues involving the trafficking of human beings and trafficking against persons.

Assistant Commissioner of Police, Mark Thompson, warned that such crimes represented the most brutal denial of basic human rights, and robbed the most vulnerable in society of their ???personhood??? and their human dignity.

He was at the time addressing the 34th annual Crime Stoppers International conference at Hilton Barbados yesterday.

???No society built on the principles of respect for human rights, fairness, equality and justice will tolerate such crimes. The fact that the Royal Barbados Police Force has formed a specialised unit to investigate the trafficking in human beings is evidence that it is committed to a rigorous prevention, protection, prosecution and punishment regime,??? Mr. Thompson stated.

But, he added the ???stark??? reality was that any sustained action to prevent and combat trafficking in persons and crimes against children required a comprehensive international approach in countries of origin, transit and destination.

Mr. Thompson stressed the importance of partnerships for such measures to be successful, and admitted that historically, the Force sought to pursue crime management on its own without including the public.

???This approach to policing did not recognise the inherent value of partnerships. Thankfully, more mature considerations have led police executives to the understanding that police do not on their own have the resources to deal with the underlying causes of social deviance or crime,??? he said.

He added that crime management was a developmental issue, and the RBPF continuously assessed its current strategy to include new and innovative strategies to manage threats to its growth.

Mr. Thompson identified corruption, financial crimes, the financing of terrorism, trafficking in illicit goods and intellectual property crime, as some of the threats the Force faced, and warned that they had the potential to destabilise governments and collapse economies.

However, to counter such threats, the Acting Commissioner of Police said the Force had introduced a specialised Cybercrime Unit, a special Crime Management Crimes Investigation Unit and a Copyright Unit. In addition, he noted that the Financial Crimes Investigations Unit was also active.

???That is why these types of forums are so important, as they facilitate the strengthening of partnerships,??? he said, adding organisations such as Crime Stoppers International played a critical role in the process.

julia.rawlins-bentham@barbados.gov.bb

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