|Chairman of the Task Force for the Prevention of Trafficking in Persons, and Attorney General, Adriel Brathwaite (right), in discussion with Charge d’Affaires of the United States Embassy, Christopher Sandrolini (left)??and a guest at the launch. (C. Pitt/BGIS)|
Government will continue to intensify its efforts to minimise the scourge of human trafficking.
Minister of Family, Culture, Sports and Youth, Stephen Lashley, gave this assurance last night while delivering the feature address at the official launch of the National Task Force for the Prevention of Trafficking in Persons, at the Hilton Barbados.
He said: "…we remain committed to this task, since we have, over the years, accepted our responsibility as a member of the international community. ??We will, therefore, continue our efforts towards strengthening our capacity, to put an end to this human scourge."
Acknowledging that the act of human trafficking had reduced women, children and men over the world to "mere slaves, sexual slaves, and domestic servitude," Minister Lashley added that in many cases, some persons have made the ultimate sacrifice, as we [Government] have heard of incidences where organs have been ripped from the innocent bodies of persons to be sold on the market.
Commenting that Government was indeed putting measures in place to combat trafficking in persons, Mr. Lashley stated that "since 2002, the Bureau of Gender Affairs has been our leading agency in coordinating Government’s response to trafficking in persons, [hence] working with non-governmental agencies and other ministries of government, to build public awareness around the issue of human trafficking."??????
Meanwhile, Programme Officer at the Bureau, Nalita Gajadhar told those gathered that the launch was significant as it "goes beyond just the establishment of a Committee, or the establishment of another talk group, but is the start of a process to bring about change in our country."
Chairman of the Task Force, and Attorney General and Minister of Home Affairs, Adriel Brathwaite, said "the establishment of the Committee signaled to our members [Task Force], to Barbados and to our international partners that we are truly committed to ensuring that we do our utmost to address this whole issue of human trafficking.??
"Even though we have only had one meeting, I recognise that in fact much work and much knowledge has already gone into this activity…Barbados and our international partners will see a much more coordinated effort with respect to the whole issue of human trafficking," he emphasised.
The launch also included a short film on human trafficking by young film makers KMW Films and a dance by Danse Nationale Afrique.
A Presentation of Terms of Reference was also made to members of the Task Force.