JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Some secondary school teachers are being trained through the Ministry of Education, in preparation for the integration of the Trafficking in Persons curriculum into different subject areas for the upcoming school year.
  • Last year, the Ministry of Justice handed over the curriculum, developed by the National Task Force Against Trafficking in Persons, to the Education Ministry for it to be introduced at the grade seven to nine level in high schools.
  • The curriculum, to be rolled out in a group of pilot schools this academic year, is to promote greater awareness among students and teachers about human trafficking.

Some secondary school teachers are being trained through the Ministry of Education, in preparation for the integration of the Trafficking in Persons curriculum into different subject areas for the upcoming school year.

Last year, the Ministry of Justice handed over the curriculum, developed by the National Task Force Against Trafficking in Persons, to the Education Ministry for it to be introduced at the grade seven to nine level in high schools.

The curriculum, to be rolled out in a group of pilot schools this academic year, is to promote greater awareness among students and teachers about human trafficking.

According to Assistant Chief Education Officer in the Core Curriculum Unit, Dr. Clover Hamilton-Flowers, the Trafficking in Persons curriculum will be treated as support material in the new National Standards Curriculum.

“So, it means we would be identifying those areas in the National Standards Curriculum that would provide the space to strategically treat that phenomenon,” she explained in an interview with JIS News.

She said the Unit has identified areas in Social Studies, Religious Education, Information and Communication Technology (ICT), Physical Education and Sports, as well as in History, in which topics from the curriculum will be integrated during lessons.

“We do the training with our teachers to help them understand the focus of the curriculum, the methodology they are supposed to use and then they will (incorporate it), based on their context,” Dr. Hamilton-Flowers said.

The Trafficking in Persons curriculum is geared towards helping persons see the issue as a global crime, as well as getting persons to identify means of preventing it and helping to reduce the vulnerability of persons, especially children and young people.

Dr. Hamilton-Flowers said the impact of the curriculum is dependent on the approach that teachers use to bring the topics across to students.

“If you push more of a reflective approach, the impact can be great, as opposed to just the knowledge of it. It is going to be dependent on how it is done, how often it is brought into the discussions and whether or not we have other supporting activities,” she said.

Statistics from the International Labour Organisation (ILO) show that nearly half of the 1.2 million children trafficked each year are from Latin America and the Caribbean.

Human trafficking is considered a modern-day form of slavery involving victims being forced, defrauded or coerced into exploitative circumstances.

The National Task Force Against Trafficking in Persons in the Ministry of Justice has identified the profile of trafficking victims in Jamaica as being predominantly females (79.3%), between 18 and 24 years of age, with secondary education (89.7%) and are from the working class or a poor background (86.2%).

Jamaica is observing Trafficking in Persons Week from July 26 to 31.