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Anti-Human Trafficking Unit conducting awareness campaign

Anti-Human Trafficking Unit  conducting awareness campaign


The Anti-Human Trafficking of Persons Unit of the Royal St Vincent and the Grenadines Police is on a drive to sensitize Vincentians about human trafficking and issues related to domestic violence.{{more}}

On Monday, Head of the Anti-Human Trafficking Unit Assistant Superintendent of Police Ruth Jacobs and her assistant Sergeant Junior Simmons visited both the Troumaca Government School and the Troumaca Ontario Secondary School, where they made presentations on the subject: “Child Trafficking and Child Labour”.

The lectures came on the heels of presentations made at the Rose Hall Government School on Wednesday, October 24, and at the Red Cross Headquarters, Kingstown, on Tuesday, October 23.

At the session held with members of the Red Cross, they were informed about the causes of human trafficking, such as the demand for inexpensive labour, services and products; and inequalities such as lack of employment opportunities, lack of educational opportunities, social and political conflict, intolerance and discrimination, and the desire for “love”.

Simmons, facilitating the event, explained that trafficking in persons means the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring, or receipt of persons by means of threat or use of force or other forms of coercion or abduction.

He made a special appeal to females in the audience to be very careful when they are made attractive job offers overseas, because there are numerous cases that have proven that the reality is different. He explained that one can be exploited for sexual gains, as well as exploited for labour. He also appealed to the audience to be circumspect when starting relationships via the Internet.

The Anti-Human Trafficking of Persons Unit has also conducted awareness programmes at the Grace Community Baptist Church, Chateaubelair Hospital, Rose Hall Health Centre, Troumaca Health centre, Spring Village Health Centre, Barrouallie Health Centre and has held lectures for members of the Police Force.

In 2009, St Vincent and the Grenadines was placed on the Human Trafficking Tier 2 list, indicating that it was ranked among countries which did not fully comply with the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act. Simmons explained that the Government of St Vincent and the Grenadines has made great strides to improve this situation, such as enacting the Prevention of Trafficking Persons Act, and launching the Anti-Human Trafficking of Persons Unit on April 13, 2012, of which he is a part. He added that the Government also had established a crisis centre for battered women and collaborated with the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in conducting training in St Vincent and Grenadines with governmental and non-governmental organizations on trafficking of persons.

“Our goal in St Vincent and the Grenadines is to be placed on Tier 1. We are hoping next year June, God’s willing, we will be placed on Tier 1,” said Simmons.

Every country, with the exemption of Haiti and Somalia, which have received special exemptions because of the major national disaster in Haiti and the ongoing conflict in Somalia, respectively, is on the human trafficking tier lists.