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  • Persons combatting human trafficking now have an opportunity to increase their expertise through a master’s degree programme, which will be offered by the University of the Commonwealth Caribbean (UCC).
  • The programme, which begins in October, is a partnership involving the Ministry of Justice, through the National Task Force Against Trafficking in Persons (NATFATIP).
  • Details of the programme were outlined by UCC’s Corporate Education Manager, Tahjaa Knuckle, during a press briefing at the Ministry on Wednesday (July 18).

Persons combatting human trafficking now have an opportunity to increase their expertise through a master’s degree programme, which will be offered by the University of the Commonwealth Caribbean (UCC).

The programme, which begins in October, is a partnership involving the Ministry of Justice, through the National Task Force Against Trafficking in Persons (NATFATIP).

Details of the programme were outlined by UCC’s Corporate Education Manager, Tahjaa Knuckle, during a press briefing at the Ministry on Wednesday (July 18).

The course will focus on organised crime, international human rights or a similar area in collaboration with one of UCC’s international partner institutions, in addition to human trafficking.

Ms. Knuckle informed that the collaboration will also involve promotion of the UCC’s undergraduate degrees in social work and applied psychology to train persons to more effectively deal with victims of human trafficking and their rehabilitation.

“This programme will immediately provide an opportunity for staff members and officials of relevant agencies to further develop competencies in fighting this scourge,” she said.

The university’s Corporate Education Division will also work with NATFATIP to develop appropriate certificate programmes and short courses in human trafficking to mitigate skill shortages.

Additionally, an online course is to be developed that will be free to all subscribers, “The UCC Foundation will also provide a number of partial scholarships to encourage participation in any of the programmes to be offered,” Ms. Knuckle further informed.

The Ministry’s Victim Services Division will explore internship opportunities for UCC students pursuing social work and applied psychology degree programmes.

Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Carol Palmer, commended UCC for the partnership with NATFATIP, which she chairs.

“This is an important step forward that will assist in our advancing NATFATIP’s mandate of eradicating human trafficking in Jamaica,” she said.

Data indicate that 20 to 30 million people are exposed to modern-day slavery, and each year, up to 800,000 persons are trafficked across borders.

According to the NATFATIP, over 750 anti-trafficking operations were conducted between 2010 and 2018 in Jamaica, resulting in 82 victims being rescued, 30 suspected traffickers arrested, and the dismantling of three prostitution rings.

Jamaica has retained a Tier 2 ranking according to the 2018 Human Trafficking Report published by the US State Department.