Efforts to eliminate human trafficking in Jamaica are to be significantly boosted with the handover of an extensive library collection on sex trafficking and human trafficking to the National Task Force Against Trafficking in Persons (NATFATIP). The collection is from the library of the late Rev. Dr. Margaret Fowler, who served as Chairman of the Protection subcommittee of NATFATIP between 2015 and 2019.
A virtual ceremony will be held to hand over the collection to NATFATIP at the Sir Arthur Lewis Institute for Social and Economic Studies (SALISES), University of the West Indies, Mona Campus, where it will be housed, on Tuesday, August 25 at 10:00 a.m.
The National Rapporteur on Trafficking in Persons and Children’s Advocate, Diahann Gordon-Harrison, members of NATFATIP and representatives from civil society and other associated institutions are expected to participate in the ceremony, which will take place via the Zoom platform.
In an interview with JIS News, former Research Associate to Rev. Dr. Fowler and Occupational Psychologist, Dr. Jessica Dunn, explained that the handover of the collection was organised by family and friends of the late social justice advocate to mark the first anniversary of her passing, which occurred on August 26, 2019.
“The donation is a fulfilment of Rev. Fowler’s last wishes expressed in August 2019, for her collection on human trafficking to be made available to students, researchers and human rights advocates and used to enhance the work of NATFATIP,” she explained.
“Her fascinating collection will be a great intellectual resource for higher education and the associated research and vocational networks,” she said, adding that Rev. Fowler will always be remembered for her unwavering faith and commitment to the protection of human rights.
A minister of religion by profession, her last assignment being at the Hope United Church, Rev. Dr. Fowler dedicated much of her time to fighting for the safety and well-being of young women.
Meanwhile, Rev. Dr. Fowler’s collection of books on theology, philosophy, psychology and counselling, law, history and global affairs will also be handed over to an institution of higher learning.
The collection will be donated to the Library of the International University of the Caribbean (IUC) during a similar virtual ceremony on Wednesday, August 26, 2020 at 10:00 a.m.
According to IUC President, Professor Rev. Roderick Hewitt, the university boasts a strength in pastoral psychology and counselling at both the undergraduate and postgraduate levels.
“I am sure this particular discipline will be rejoicing on having a wider selection of texts as well as her (Rev. Fowler’s) wider theology selection. This variety of books will play a very important role in facilitating ongoing learning at IUC,” he said.
Rev. Dr. Fowler, a Scottish-Jamaican theologian and social justice advocate, founded the Theodora Project in Negril in 2004, to rescue, shelter, educate and support victims of trafficking and abuse.
She also spearheaded the development of a Child Protection Policy for the United Church in Jamaica and the Cayman Islands to eradicate child abuse.