Human trafficking will again be examined next week when the Bureau of Gender Affairs and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) host a sensitisation workshop.

Thirty persons are expected to attend the session, which will be held on January 27 and 28 at the Almond Bay Resort, Hastings, Christ Church, starting each day at 9:00 a.m.

"The Identification and Treatment of Victims of Human Trafficking" is the theme of the training which will be conducted by human trafficking expert Chissey Mueller, of the Counter Trafficking Unit, IOM Washington.

Participants will include representatives of the Attorney General’s Office, Welfare Department, the Barbados Defence Force, the Probation Department, the Child Care Board, the National HIV/AIDS Commission, the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, the Royal Barbados Police Force and the Soroptimists International.

They will learn: "What is migration in the Caribbean and Barbados?", "What is Migrant Smuggling?", "What is Trafficking in Persons? Adults vs Children – the Caribbean and Barbadian Context", "What is a Protection Framework for the treatment of victims and how can it be maintained?" among other topics.

At a seminar last year, Minister of Youth, Family and Sports, Dr. Esther Byer Suckoo, disclosed that Government was preparing legislation to prevent human trafficking.???? It is also designed to help the victims and stand up to the scrutiny of international observers. She added that the new laws would complement the draft Human Trafficking Protocol, which is expected to protect and support the human rights of persons, while promoting cooperation among all stakeholders in order to meet the objectives.

Barbados is one of 117 countries that signed a protocol on September 25, 2001, to prevent, suppress and punish trafficking in persons, especially women and children, supplementing the United Nations Convention Against Transnational Organised Crime. The protocol came into effect on December 25, 2003.

Human trafficking involves the recruitment, movement or harbouring of a person by means of deception, coercion, and or force in order to disadvantage that individual through sexual exploitation, forced labour, servitude, slavery and or slavery-like conditions.

It is a rapidly expanding global scourge, said to be the third most profitable illegal industry, next to the arms and narcotics trades, and a growing problem in the Caribbean.

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