JIS News

More than 100 persons have been trained by the Justice Training Institute (JTI) to address human trafficking in Jamaica, as the country seeks to improve its international status on the issue.
“We trained 56 police officers across the island, 46 persons from the courts, 11 persons from the Victim Support Unit of the Ministry of Justice including social workers and psychologists because we need people who can relate to the needs of the victims of trafficking and so overall we trained 113 persons,” Director of the JTI, Mrs. Audrey Sewell pointed out, in an interview with JIS News.
According to the Director, the first series of training sessions ended on Friday, (June 27) in Kingston following sessions in Montego Bay on June 3 and 4, which catered to the parishes of St. James, Hanover, Westmoreland and Trelawny. Training was also carried out in Mandeville on June 9 and 10, where persons from St. Elizabeth, Clarendon and Manchester were in attendance; while sessions were held in Pompano in St. Mary on June 17 and 18.
As part of the extensive training programme on the issue of human trafficking, the sessions focused on a number of crucial areas.
“We have it on our work plan to undertake the training of key stakeholders to sensitize them to the whole issue of human trafficking, what it is, protocols involved, root causes and consequences, current and changing trends, how to identify, investigate and successfully prosecute human trafficking cases,” Mrs. Sewell explained.
The JTI Director also explained that the series of workshops will culminate this month to make way for other training sessions in the months to come.
“As we go along we have identified needs and based on the requests from the police (and other stakeholders) we are responding and so we have organized for additional workshops. We will go back to the drawing board, evaluate and continue.to look at what we have done and what else we need to do so hopefully the next set of workshops will take a different format,” Mrs. Sewell disclosed.
According to the JTI Director, the human trafficking workshops arose from the Government’s need to satisfy the international protocol on human trafficking standards.
“We are working to improve our rating. We have some protocols to put in place, one of which is training and so because the Institute is an agency of the Ministry of Justice our training programmes support the goals and objectives of the Ministry. Our work in this regard therefore, is supporting the National Task Force Against Trafficking in Persons, the task force that is spearheading some of the initiatives,” she informed.
Speaking about the expected impact on the justice system, Mrs. Sewell pointed out that Jamaica has not done very well in human trafficking convictions, so “we would want to see improvements in the investigation of human trafficking cases and the successful prosecution of those cases. We would want to see an overall impact in the Criminal Justice System with qualitative improvements in the investigative capacity of the police (and other stakeholders),” she said.

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