In Guyana, trafficking-in-persons seems to be on the rise, despite the United States State Department upgrading Guyana’s status from last year’s Tier 2 ranking to a Tier 1 ranking, which is the highest ranking bestowed on a country.
Guyana has met the minimum standards for the elimination of human trafficking in person. The recent raids by police and GRA Enforcement officers who arrested more than two dozen female foreign nationals at a strip-club at Rosignol, West Coast Berbice and another at Covent Garden, East Bank Demerara proved the justification.
For years, the U.S. Department of State criticized the last administration for not doing enough to eliminate Trafficking in Persons. But the last administration repeatedly rejected the U.S. admonition. The Granger government has recognized that trafficking in persons is prevalent in Guyana. As a result, in 2016, it developed a national plan to combat it by widening the investigations and increasing prosecutions.
Traffickers tend to target the most vulnerable persons in society, some of them to work as prostitutes in the remote areas of the country where it is difficult for them to escape and where investigations are tough to conduct.
Because most of the victims operate in the mining areas of the country, the government has engaged the Guyana Police Force and the Guyana Women Miners Organization (GWMO) to deal with the problem.
So far, efforts by the government to combat TIP have been successful. This was reinforced by the Minister of Social Protection who in observance of World Trafficking Day this year, disclosed that between January 5 and July 3, the government rescued 77 victims. Most were provided with jobs, educational and training opportunities and with psychosocial counselling by her Ministry.
The Minister stated that the protection of human rights and dignity of all the citizens of Guyana is an essential component of good governance.She noted that in 2017, the government arrested 98 traffickers of which 80 were for sex trafficking and 18 for labour trafficking.
In spite of the progress made by the government to combat TIP, the U.S. report recommended that victims be provided with protection to enable them to testify against traffickers in a way that minimizes re-traumatization and threats against their lives or those of their families.
The United Nations (UN) has defined the trafficking in persons as the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of persons by means of threat, use of force or other forms of coercion or having control over a person without his or her consent for the purpose of exploitation. It includes, at a minimum, the exploitation or the prostitution of others or other forms of sexual abuse, forced labour or services, or practices similar to slavery, servitude or the removal and sale of organs without the person’s consent.
TIP is not confined to Guyana or the developing countries. It is a worldwide phenomenon that is practised in the developed countries as well. The reason the public does not hear of cases in those countries is because it is done covertly by the people who perpetrate the crime. Victims are usually kept in confined spaces and are warned not to say anything because if they do their family members would be harmed.
Eventually, when they are discovered, it is usually found that the crime had been going on for a long period of time. Simply put, trafficking in persons is inhumane and a violation of human rights.
Oct 16, 2018By Sean Devers in Trinidad In association with Regal, Vnet, Noble House Seafoods & Cascadia Hotel In murky conditions and played before virtually empty stands, Guyana Jaguars, led by a 79-run...
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