Efforts to address the issue of human trafficking in the CARIFORUM region are moving forward.
Preliminary results from a new comprehensive study on human trafficking, that is expected to provide a greater understanding of the problem within and across the region’s borders, will be revealed at a regional consultation in Barbados, which started today, and ends on Friday, September 20.
Canadian firm, Dunn, Pierre, Barnett and Company, Canada Limited, was engaged by CARIFORUM to conduct the study. They will present their findings at the consultation for validation, and will also make recommendations to stakeholders on the issues identified.
It is expected that two representatives from each CARIFORUM member state, one representative of the Office responsible for Trafficking in Persons (TIPs); and another from the National Security Agency dealing with TIPs will participate in the consultation.
The countries that were involved in the study, which began on July 19, 2019, include Antigua and Barbuda, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Montserrat, Saint Lucia, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago and the Dominican Republic.
The study is expected to inform the methods that will be used to implement interventions, and further ensure that they are evidence-based and consistent with best practices in anti-trafficking, including but not limited to prevention, protection and prosecution.
It is also hoped that the research would provide useful information on types, patterns and routes of trafficking; profiles of trafficked persons, vulnerability factors for trafficking; border and law enforcement issues and information about the traffickers; and anti-trafficking efforts currently being undertaken.
The research team met with critical stakeholders including representatives of national security, legal and judiciary, police, prisons, immigration, education, labour, members of civil societies, and regional and international agencies working in this area. Individuals from vulnerable communities, victims and proprietors, as well as the private sector and civil society were also part of the study.
According to the latest United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime Report (2018), human trafficking is on the rise in the CARIFORUM region. Therefore, this study is being conducted at a critical time.
Human trafficking is defined as the subjection of men, women and children to compelled service for the purposes of exploitation. The study is being done with funding from the 10th European Development Fund Technical Cooperation Facility.