Thursday 9 July, 2020

J’can who escaped human trafficking to speak at conference in Trelawny

Carol Palmer, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Justice and chairperson of National Task Force Against Human Trafficking In Person.

Carol Palmer, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Justice and chairperson of National Task Force Against Human Trafficking In Person.

Local and international presenters will gather at Melia Braco in Trelawny from July 25-26 for the Human Trafficking International Conference that will highlight the week of activities by the National Task Force Against Human Trafficking In Person (NATFATIP).

Jamaican Shamere McKenzie, who suffered at the hand of human traffickers will give her first-hand experience at the conference. McKenzie, who is a UN Ambassador for human trafficking will have Miss Jamaica World, Solange Sinclair, sharing ambassadorial duties.


While the week of activities will start on Sunday with a church service at Providence Methodist Church on Old Hope Road and end on July 28, the celebrations will continue until July 30, in accordance with the UN Day to recognise human trafficking in the world.

According to Carol Palmer, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Justice, who is also the chairperson of NATFATIP and the committee planning the week of activities, presenters will be arriving from Romania, France and the United States of America to complement locals in an effort to bring to fore, the severity of the scourge.

The week of activities will be observed under the theme, “From Victim to Survivor, The Hard Road To Recovery.”


It will be victim focused and victim centred as she said that these individuals often experience grief, pain and extreme trauma, which last throughout life.

Palmer said: "victims of the severe form of human trafficking are condemned to a life that doesn't allow them to recover.”

"We hope that the attention and public discourse will continue to raise awareness about the plight of victims and why it is necessary that not just a whole of government, but a whole of country response, and I dare say a global response," Palmer said, while adding that many victims are killed or become stateless.

The objectives of the conference are:

* Objectives are to improve cooperation among regional law enforcement to deter and combat trafficking in person.

* Increase public awareness to discourage those activities and to warn those who are unaware.

* Train officials throughout public and private sectors on identifying victims of trafficking.

* Build capacities through legislation and institutional strengthening.

* Explore the provision of appropriate protection and assistance to victims of trafficking, particularly women and children.

Develop an outcome document setting out a collective strategy in the fight against trafficking in person.

* Promote the sustainability for partnerships to effectively combat the offence.

Palmer said the conference is expected to achieve these outcomes: increase awareness and understanding among public officials and the private sector on trafficking in person; improve sharing of information among local and international stakeholders; and establish protocols for return and reintegration of victims of trafficking, including children.

The topics to be discussed are: victimology, cybercrime and human trafficking - the dark web and social media, child trafficking - a clear and present danger and partnerships for sustainability.

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