JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Head of the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Task Force, Deputy Superintendent Carl Berry, has appealed to Jamaicans to develop a culture that is hostile towards human trafficking.
  • Gunmen and gangsters have increased their involvement in human trafficking, as they thrive off poverty and off people who are generally in search of a ‘better life’.
  • Social media platforms are used to lure persons into the crime, and warned them about the ills of sharing their personal information online.

Head of the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Task Force, Deputy Superintendent Carl Berry, has appealed to Jamaicans to develop a culture that is hostile towards human trafficking.

Speaking at an Anti-Human Trafficking forum, held at Trench Town Comprehensive High School recently, he told the students that human trafficking is not a crime confined to Kingston, but that the entire country is vulnerable.

“A significant feature of human trafficking is the promise of jobs, opportunities for school and a better life, usually in a foreign country. The traffickers want you for forced sexual exploitation, labour and pornographic movies,” Mr. Berry said.

He pointed out that gunmen and gangsters have increased their involvement in human trafficking, as they thrive off poverty and off people who are generally in search of a ‘better life’.

“I can assure you that the Organized Crime Investigation Division, the National Task Force Against Trafficking in Persons and the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) will not stop until everyone is sensitized about human trafficking and all victims are rescued,” DSP Berry emphasised.

The Taskforce Head said that human trafficking is the most under reported crime in the world; therefore it is important for every citizen to be sensitized in order to develop a hostile culture towards the crime.

He told the students that the different social media platforms are used to lure persons into the crime, and warned them about the ills of sharing their personal information online.

Meanwhile, Chairperson for the National Task Force Against Trafficking in Persons (NATAFATIP) and Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Justice, Carol Palmer, said the most effective strategy against human trafficking is to know about it, and pointed out that the first case was solved because of the public education campaign.

Mrs. Palmer informed the students of some practical questions to ask in the event they suspect that they are likely to be lured into the human trafficking ring.

“Ask yourself these questions; how did I get a visa and I did not attend a visa interview? How am I being offered so much money for very minimal work? We have to think, so don’t let sweet talk and nice things capture you,” the Permanent Secretary warned.

Principal for Trench Town Comprehensive High School, Susan Bloomfield, told JIS News that the forum was quite useful.

“Most of our students are from the inner-city and are from low-socio economic backgrounds. We find that these are the students who are targeted by traffickers, because they are in economic need and some of them have parents who expect them to provide for themselves,” she said.

The principal argued that the information given at the forum is necessary and will help her students to make informed decisions.

The forum was held in collaboration with NATAFATIP and the Kiwanis Club of New Kingston as they seek to provide opportunities for continuous education, raise awareness of trafficking in persons (TIP) as well as its impact on communities.