Come forward and speak out!

That???s the advice of Attorney General, Adriel Brathwaite, to possible victims of human trafficking, regardless of whether they are Barbadian or not.

Mr. Brathwaite, also Chairman of the National Task Force Against Human Trafficking, made this call during a More than Victors men???s conference under the title From Victim to Victor at the Barbados Investment and Development Corporation, Building No. 2, Harbour Road, St. Michael, recently.

The Minister gave non-Barbadian victims the assurance that Government would uphold its national and international responsibilities to give them the necessary support, even if their immigration status was questionable.?????We will protect you [and] we will ensure that all of the rights that are yours pursuant to law are upheld,??? he guaranteed, urging victims not to be silent.

Noting that victims were afraid of coming forward because of what society was going to say, the Minister stated that Government had established a framework with the Immigration Department, the Royal Barbados Police Force, the Ministry of Housing and Lands, the Welfare Department and other agencies, to ensure that victims receive the necessary support.

He also pointed out Government was in the process of amending its Transnational Organised Crime legislation to allow it to address the issue that persons may be trafficked locally.

The Attorney General stressed that it was important that the message of trafficking reached as many people as possible, as it was now considered one of the most lucrative illegal businesses in the world.

???It is commonly called modern day slavery. The traffickers make more money today than they probably did four years ago [and] people are exploited in all shapes and forms, both male and female,??? he stated.

Noting that Barbadians needed to recognise and accept that whatever happens in the world also happens here, Mr. Brathwaite stated that policymakers, churches, parents and families, must ensure that all efforts are made to protect young children and other vulnerable people in society.

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