Keep Focus on Victim, Says AG

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Attorney General, Adriel Braithwaite (FP)??

Attorney General, Adriel Brathwaite, has reinforced Government’s commitment to stamping out any forms of human trafficking within this country’s borders.

Mr. Brathwaite, who is also Minister of Home Affairs, gave this affirmation this morning at the official opening of a three-day Trafficking in Persons (TIP) training for Front line Agencies workshop for some 40 personnel, hosted by the Bureau of Gender Affairs in collaboration with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, at the UWI Cave Hill Campus.

As Chairman of the Trafficking in Persons (TIP) National Task Force, he gave notice that his administration would continue to highlight the issue of human trafficking by not only hosting continuous training for key frontline personnel from various government departments and nongovernmental agencies, but also by sensitising the ???ordinary man’ through town hall meetings and seminars.

He said:?? "It is important for us to do this type of training because it is my sense that the more we sit in settings like this, the better we are able to do what is necessary to ensure that we discharge our responsibilities.

"…What we need is, in terms of being able to respond to any trafficking events is a more cohesive approach and a softer more gentle approach, because indeed if there is an incident of trafficking you might have someone who has broken the laws of Barbados from an immigration perspective, but he or she may also be a victim," explained the Minister.

The Attorney General told participants that over the last year the Task Force had been across the island sensitising ordinary Barbadians of their role as it relates to detecting the scourge of human trafficking, as they too would be called upon to assist if need be.

"It is not a case where the Police or Immigration alone has a responsibility…but Barbadians have a responsibility to report to us, so we can do what is necessary, as it may be a victim-centred crime and our goal is not only to prosecute the perpetrators but also to help the victim as much as possible."

Sharing the Attorney General’s sentiments was United States Ambassador, Larry Palmer, who in delivering his brief remarks told members of the audience that an estimated 12 million people around the world were victims of human trafficking and were very often deemed ???unworthy and dismissed’.??

He pointed out that learning about how these crimes were carried out, how to protect victims and how to prosecute traffickers were vital to this fight.

The training workshop, which concludes this Wednesday, is aimed at increasing the ability to prosecute traffickers and to provide protection and assistance to victims in accordance with the National Work Plan for the Prevention of Trafficking in Persons.?? It is being facilitated by the United States Government.

theresa.blackman@barbados.gov.bb

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