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Story Highlights

  • Victims of human trafficking now have a convenient and secure mode of transport to take them to safe shelters.
  • Mr. Chuck further stated that the JCF’s investigative capacity is being bolstered as they seek to protect victims and bring perpetrators to justice.
  • Jamaica has been upgraded to Tier 2 from the Tier 2 Watch List in the United States Department of State 2016 TIP report.

Victims of human trafficking now have a convenient and secure mode of transport to take them to safe shelters.

This follows the donation of a 16-seater Toyota bus, valued approximately $6 million, to the Anti-Trafficking in Persons (TIP)/Intellectual Property Squad of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) by the Ministry of Justice.

The presentation was made by Portfolio Minister, Hon. Delroy Chuck, during a ceremony at the Ministry at 61 Constant Spring Road in Kingston on June 2, where he reiterated the Government’s undertaking to curtail human trafficking.

“We will continue to enact laws, provide the necessary budgetary support and strengthen the capacities of state entities, including law enforcement agencies, to maintain and scale up actions against trafficking in persons,” he said.

The Minister said the broad-based multi-sectoral National Task Force against Trafficking in Persons, which was established in 2005, continues to provide strategic direction for the enactment of legislation, development of an anti-TIP policy framework and planning and execution of major interventions.

“We have sought to strengthen the prosecutorial arm with the establishment of a Specialised Unit at the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions,” he said.

Mr. Chuck further stated that the JCF’s investigative capacity is being bolstered as they seek to protect victims and bring perpetrators to justice.

For his part, National Security Minister, Hon. Robert Montague, said human trafficking has been prioritized under the Ministry’s Five-Pillar Strategy, which ultimately aims to make Jamaica safer and more secure for citizens and visitors.

 

He said since the enactment of the Trafficking in Persons Act, its provisions have been strengthened through amendments, adding that collaboration between the JCF and Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions has resulted in several convictions.

Mr. Montague pointed out that Jamaica is a signatory to the United Nations (UN) Palermo Protocol to prevent and suppress the incidence of human trafficking, especially targeting women and children, and punish the perpetrators.

Among the Protocol’s provisions are guidelines for the protection and support of victims. Additionally, it provides a framework that will bring the Government of Jamaica in compliance with the TIP Act and its international obligations.

Mr. Montague said Jamaica has also established two new Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) to proactively identify victims.

He lauded the Anti-TIP Unit, which has launched Operation Uplift that aims to strengthen its capacity to counter human trafficking.

In his remarks, Head of the Counter Terrorism and Organized Crime Branch, JCF, Assistant Commissioner of Police Clifford Chambers, said the Anti-TIP Unit has assisted in the investigation and repatriation of victims of human trafficking from several countries.

These include: Burma, Cambodia, China, Colombia, Guyana, Haiti, India, Italy and Panama.

He said to date, the Unit has helped to rescue 74 victims, while arresting and charging several persons in connection last year.

Jamaica has been upgraded to Tier 2 from the Tier 2 Watch List in the United States Department of State 2016 TIP report.