Jamaica Making Major Strides to Curb Human Trafficking

Photo: Dave Reid

Story Highlights

  • Jamaica’s maintenance of its Tier 2 ranking in the 2017 Trafficking in Persons report is a testament to the country’s notable progress towards curbing the crime.
  • Mrs. Palmer, who also heads the National Task Force Against Trafficking in Persons (NATFATIP), said the report further referenced the country’s new victim protocol for health, labour and child welfare and noted the Government’s provision of shelter services for victims.
  • The training course involved 27 participants from law enforcement agencies in Jamaica, Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Cayman Islands, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Trinidad and Tobago.

Jamaica’s maintenance of its Tier 2 ranking in the 2017 Trafficking in Persons report is a testament to the country’s notable progress towards curbing the crime.

This is according to Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Justice, Carol Palmer, who said Jamaica has been making significant strides to meet the minimum standards of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of the United States (US).

She said the report, which was released by the US Department of State on June 27, acknowledges that Jamaica has demonstrated increasing efforts to eliminate human trafficking by securing two convictions, prosecuting nine cases against 13 alleged offenders and investigating 40 potentially new cases.

Mrs. Palmer, who also heads the National Task Force Against Trafficking in Persons (NATFATIP), said the report further referenced the country’s new victim protocol for health, labour and child welfare and noted the Government’s provision of shelter services for victims.

She added that the country’s increased efforts to raise awareness of the crime was also highlighted in the report.

Mrs. Palmer was addressing a graduation ceremony and luncheon for the first cohort of law enforcement officers to be trained in a two-week Trafficking in Persons course at the Caribbean Regional Drug Law Enforcement Training Centre.

The ceremony was held at the Centre in Twickenham Park, St. Catherine, on June 30.
Mrs. Palmer said the report also emphasized the responsibility of Caribbean Governments to criminalize human trafficking and hold offenders accountable.

She pointed out that for the period between now and the release of the next report, “countries should scale up their actions to enable law enforcement agencies to respond effectively in investigating cases of human trafficking, rescuing victims and helping the prosecutorial services to build effective cases against offenders.”

Mrs. Palmer urged regional Governments to work collaboratively to develop the capacity of law enforcement and judicial officials to implement more modern investigative and evidence processing techniques.

The training course involved 27 participants from law enforcement agencies in Jamaica, Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Cayman Islands, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Trinidad and Tobago.

They included: detectives, constables, sergeants, investigators, custom officers, legal officers, immigration officers, sensor operators, field officers and security managers.

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