“Produce the evidence of Child Labour “- Minister Nadir
- in response to Ambassador Luis CdeBaca
Minister of Labour Human and Social Services, Manzoor Nadir, has challenged the United States to produce evidence to support the recent trafficking in persons (TIP) report.
United States Ambassador, Luis C deBaca, on Tuesday last, said that the easiest way for Guyana to get off the U. S. trafficking in persons (TIP) Tier 2 watch list is to act. He added that the aim of the U. S. should not be to point fingers but to work closely with all countries in fighting the problem of human trafficking.
The ambassador- at- large made these comments during a digital video conference on Tuesday at the US embassy here.
This country has been put on the Tier 2 watch list for the fourth consecutive year. The report had said that Guyana is a source country for men, women, and children subjected to trafficking in persons, specifically conditions of forced prostitution and forced labour.
According to Minister of Labour, Manzoor Nadir, in his response to Ambassador Luis C deBaca, who he claims has condescendingly dismissed calls for the U.S. to produce the evidence of child labour in Guyana. “ (He said that) I was not the Minister who was there when the United States sponsored Combating Exploitive Child Labour through Education in Guyana i.e. EDUCARE” project was signed.
Nadir stated that both Minister Baksh and himself were the two Ministers during the effective life of this EDUCARE Project.
The Labour Minister said that EDUCARE was on the ground in Guyana for almost four years and they never mentioned to the Minister of Education (Shaik Baksh) nor the Minister of Labour (Manzoor Nadir) that they have ever found anyone engaged in child labour.
While denying that there was any project in Guyana that ever removed more than 984 children from exploitative child labour or prevented 2000 (plus) from entering such labour markets.
Nadir added the project to which the Hon. Ambassador is referring is “Combating Exploitive Child Labour through Education in Guyana, EDUCARE” which did not achieve this super-human feat by the Contractors of the U.S. Department of Labour, who were hired to execute the project.
The 2010 USA TIP report says, “During the reporting period the U.S. Department of Labour reported results of a project that withdrew 984 children from exploitive child labour in logging and saw-milling, fishing, hazardous farming, factory work, mining, and freight handling from 2005 to 2009.”
The Government of Guyana is confident and adamant that the report is “factually inaccurate, intellectually dishonest and those responsible are blatantly defrauding the taxpayers of the United States.”
In addition, the local operatives in the United States Embassy in Georgetown are also to be held culpable, since they have a responsibility to verify the accuracy of reports.
“The Government is not surprised! At least twice in the last three years the Government has had to correct erroneous statements made by managers of this project.”
Nadir said the EDUCARE midterm review (2007) did not mention anyone being removed from child labour. While their own survey of 2008 EDUCARE stated they found very low levels of the worst forms of child labour in Guyana. This contradicts their current TIP statements Nadir stated.
“The one who is mis-informed here is His Excellency, Ambassador C deBaca. What is clear is that Ambassador C deBaca has misinformed the United States Congress, by producing a fabricated report.”
“We have co-operated with the United States on the issue of trafficking in persons and have taken action in the area of legislation and implementation, but the goal post keeps changing and we are still, in their eyes, where we started.”
The Labour Minister revealed the Caribbean Ambassadors in D.C. met with the TIP office there in 2009. And a U.S. TIP team came to Guyana and insisted on prosecutions. “Again, shifting the goal post.”
“ The project’s officials and those working in TIPS and the U.S. Embassy in Georgetown seem all too concerned with their careers and profits.
They will go to lengths to falsify, forge and hide evidence to achieve their selfish goals and with total disregard of the harm and damage it can cause to an entire nation.” Nadir declared.
“We challenge EDUCARE (A PARTNERS OF AMERICA D.C.) and the U.S. administration, both in DC and in Georgetown, to produce the evidence of removing 984 children from exploitive child labor in logging and saw-milling, fishing, hazardous farming, factory work, mining, and freight handling from 2005 to 2009.”
Minister Nadir stated. “The U.S. must provides the names of the children and where they were placed.”