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42,000 Caricom visas issued by end of April



THE INTRODUCTION of the Common CARICOM Special Visa has assisted countries of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) in averting efforts at human trafficking in the region.

Deputy Prime Minister of Barbados and Chairperson of (CARICOM) Ad Hoc Committee on Security and Other Related Matters for Cricket World Cup 2007, the Honourable Mia Mottley, made this disclosure on Monday while addressing members of the Press in Barbados.{{more}}

While announcing that as of 30th April, 42,772 visas were issued, Ms. Mottley also stated that 1540 visas were denied and in the majority of cases for reasons of human trafficking predominantly out of countries in Asia and Africa.

The Deputy Prime Minister of Barbados said: “I state it in this way because you then better appreciate that in the absence of a secure visa system, we would have been exposed significantly over the course of the last three months in relation to human trafficking.”

She identified the Advanced Passenger Information System (APIS) and attempts at establishing the Advanced Cargo Information System as two areas which would enhance border security in the Region.

Ms. Mottley further identified the establishment of the Regional Intelligence Fusion Centre (RIFC) as another step in the enhancement of security in the Region.

According to Ms. Mottley, a team was now drawing up “base papers” on the feasibility of a permanent Single Domestic Space for presentation to the CARICOM Heads of Government when they meet in Barbados on July 1st .

She recalled that from the outset regional governments had set themselves the objective of creating a hostile environment for terrorists.

Stressing the interdependence of states the Barbados Deputy Prime Minister said: “We were cognizant that no country in the world can host a global sporting event without being careful to put mechanisms in place to minimize any threat that may come from terrorism whether it be domestic, regional or international. And indeed, the profile of the countries participating in CWC 2007 is such that a number of them are facing domestic difficulties either in terms of internal civil strife or in some instances being at the centre of the global war against terrorism.”