JIS News

Jamaicans are being urged to be on the alert for instances of trafficking in persons and to report suspected cases of this type of crime to the police.
“Trafficking in persons is modern day slavery in disguise. It is a crime and a violation of human rights. I therefore urge all Jamaicans to be alert to these crimes and report them to the police when discovered. Be slick, don’t get tricked. Be wise, open your eyes. Spot them and stop them,” Facilitator of a two-day training workshop on ‘Trafficking in Persons’ Joyce Hewett told JIS News.
Ms. Hewett said trafficking in persons has a social as well as an economic impact on the country as victims of trafficking ultimately become the responsibility of the destination country when they are identified and rescued.
“Under the standards of the protocol as well as the Act itself it is that we are responsible as a country to rescue those victims, then provide a safe place, provide the opportunity for them to be either sent back to their country of origin or sent back to a third country, as well as give consideration (for them) to remain here in Jamaica,” she explained.
“This impacts our resources with regards to being able to treat them and prepare them both through skills training as well as psychological and sociological therapeutic assistance. So the victims are in great need and as such, they become our responsibility for ensuring that they are not only removed from the trafficking web, but that they are able to go forward to have their lives restored,” she continued.
The workshop, which was held at the Wexford Court Hotel in Montego Bay on June 3 and 4, was hosted by the Justice Training Institute (JTI) of the Ministry of Justice, in collaboration with the Jamaica Constabulary Force Reform and Modernization Programme.
It was one of four training workshops in the latest series aimed at improving the detection, investigation and prosecution of human trafficking. Main participants in the workshops included several clerks of court, deputy clerks, police officers, as well as personnel from the Victim Support Units from across western Jamaica.
Meanwhile, according to Director of Training and Academic Affairs at the JTI, Arlene Williams, on the International front, Jamaica is seen as a potential source country for traffickers and the country is ensuring that this be addressed, in order to remove this negative image, particularly as it relates to Jamaica as a tourist destination.
“We do agree that trafficking in persons can pose a serious threat to our national security and also to our economy, hence the collaboration with the Jamaica Constabulary Force in an effort to educate persons right across the island about this evil. Our next stop for the training will be Mandeville, then St. Ann, followed by Kingston. We will be continuing the training to cover all the parishes until we see that persons are sufficiently exposed to the information,” Mrs. Williams told JIS News.
She pointed out that trafficking in persons embodied the recruitment, the transfer and the exploitation of humans by means of threat or use of force or other forms of coercion or deception, for financial gains.
“The workshop will be seeking to look at legislations pertinent to trafficking in persons in order to come up with practical strategies to combat the problem,” Mrs. Williams informed.