JIS News

Story Highlights

  • The Government of Jamaica has deemed it appropriate to appoint a National Rapporteur on Trafficking in Persons.
  • Cabinet has approved the appointment of the Children's Advocate, Diahann Gordon Harrison, as Jamaica’s National Rapporteur for this purpose.
  • This appointment makes Jamaica the first Caribbean nation to embrace this approach.

The Government of Jamaica (GoJ) is constantly on a path of pursuing progressive initiatives in its fight against trafficking in persons. In keeping with this commitment, the Government of Jamaica has deemed it appropriate to appoint a National Rapporteur on Trafficking in Persons and Cabinet has approved the appointment of the Children’s Advocate, Diahann Gordon Harrison, as Jamaica’s National Rapporteur for this purpose.

This appointment makes Jamaica the first Caribbean nation to embrace this approach; it is believed that this can only serve to enhance Jamaica’s anti-trafficking profile and exhibits the seriousness with which the Government of Jamaica regards this issue.

The Government of Jamaica is confident that the independence attached to the Children’s Advocate by virtue of statute, coupled with the fact that the Children’s Advocate already has a direct reporting channel to the Houses of Parliament, makes this appointment a good fit.

One of the primary functions of the National Rapporteur will be to create a more objective reporting system on the issue of trafficking in the country.  In addition, the National Rapporteur will, inter alia, have the authority to obtain from the relevant authorities, including the Director of Public Prosecutions and the TIP Unit in the Jamaica Constabulary Force, any information necessary to carry out her stated duties; to conduct independent examinations/investigations of reports of alleged instances of human trafficking where the need arises; to report on violations, wherever they may occur, of the rights of victims, as well as discrimination, threats or use of violence, harassment, intimidation or reprisals directed at persons exercising these rights; and to provide an analytical overview of the situation in trafficking in an annual report to the Government of Jamaica. These powers of the National Rapporteur are consistent with internationally accepted best practice and are parallel to National Rapporteur mechanisms in other jurisdictions.

Trafficking in Persons is a global phenomenon that affects all countries, both small and large. The efforts of the National Rapporteur are fully supported by the Ministries of National Security and Justice as well as Civic Society.

The Government of Jamaica remains committed to strengthening its measures to combat and eliminate all forms of trafficking in persons and will continue to seek identified sources of best practices as well as measures to enhance its anti- trafficking performance.