Sunday 23 September, 2018

US report cites Jamaica on the right human trafficking path

Jamaica has progressed to be now ranked at tier two in the 2017 Trafficking in Persons Report.

The Justice Ministry has described the ranking as a reflection of the success which the country has had with the efforts to curb the crime.

Carol Palmer, Permanent Secretary in the ministry, said Jamaica has been making significant strides to meet the minimum standards of the trafficking victims’ protection act of the United States.

She was addressing the graduation ceremony for the first batch of law enforcement officers to be trained in a two-week trafficking in persons’ course at the Caribbean Regional Drug Law Enforcement Training Centre, on Friday.

The training course involved 27 participants from law enforcement agencies in Jamaica, Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, the Cayman Islands, St Kitts and Nevis, St Vincent and the Grenadines, and Trinidad and Tobago.

Palmer said the report, which was released by the US Department of State on June 27, noted that Jamaica has demonstrated increasing efforts to eliminate human trafficking. Evidence of this effort included two convictions, prosecution of nine cases against 13 alleged offenders; and investigation of 40 potential new cases.

The permanent secretary, who heads the National Task Force against Trafficking in Persons, said the report took note of Jamaica's new victim protocol for health, labour and child welfare, along with the provision of shelter services for victims.

She added that Jamaica's increased efforts to raise awareness of the crime were also highlighted in the report.