Jamaicans are being urged to report suspected incidents of human trafficking to the authorities.
Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) Sub Officer in charge of the Anti-Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Vice Squad, Detective Inspector Kemisha Gordon, told JIS News that local law-enforcement stakeholders face challenges in citizens reporting suspected cases of human trafficking.
Among these, she informed, are persons’ apparent lack of awareness of and inability to determine the heinous crime.
“That is not surprising, as the nature of human trafficking is such that it continues to evolve, and it is not something that is easily identified. But the basic knowledge of human trafficking leads persons to believe that certain things are acceptable and because of this, they do not report,” the officer explained.
Persons who suspect incidents of trafficking in persons and or are victims, can call the police within their area to make a report.
They can also send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, call the Ministry of National Security at 876-906-49 or speak to child counsellors at Child Protection and Family Services Agency (CPFSA).
Inspector Gordon noted that human traffickers do not have a specific profile or consistently use any particular method when carrying out their acts.
“So, we see an array of different profiles of persons who have been convicted of trafficking. Persons do not report for various reasons. Some do not report because they are fearful, others because they do not [want to be identified] as being a victim or being in a trafficking situation,” she said.
Inspector Gordon advised that the JCF and its stakeholders are constantly modifying their strategies to keep pace with the evolution of human trafficking locally and internationally.
“We continually must be examining our approaches, the trends, the approaches of the traffickers. With COVID-19, traffickers worldwide have taken to the Internet to conduct their recruitment and exploitation activities in relation to child pornography and other types of trafficking. So, we must be on par and up to date with what is happening out there,” she explained.
The National Task Force Against Trafficking in Persons was established in June 2005 as a multi-agency approach to enhance national capacity and develop and implement Jamaica’s legislative, institutional, and operational response for combatting human trafficking.