Jamaica Aims for Tier 1 in Human Trafficking

Justice Minister, the Hon. Delroy Chuck, declares that Jamaica is aiming for Tier 1 ranking on the United States’ Department of State ranking on Human Trafficking. That would be a further improvement for Jamaica that was graded in 2016 to Tier 2.

He said that the Tier 2 ranking “Has come from years of consistent work at the national level led by the Taskforce which has strengthened our capacity to improve year after year.”

Minister Chuck, was speaking at the opening ceremony of the National Task Force Against Trafficking in Persons (NATFATIP) Victim Personnel Training Seminar held at the Knutsford Court Hotel in Kingston on November 9, 2016. The three days seminar was themed ‘Understanding Human Trafficking, Supporting Victims.’  

However, he further indicated that while work was being done to contribute to Jamaica’s ranking in external reports especially from the US State Department, our goal “Must transcend such narrow considerations.”

Citing data from the UN Global Report on Human Trafficking 2014, Minister Chuck told participants that there was an increase in the number of children being trafficked making up 1/3 of Human Trafficking victims world-wide. 

He also said that 30% of the countries that report on the gender of human traffickers show that women make up the largest proportion of traffickers. Sexual exploitation was the most common form of Human trafficking accounting for 79% according to the Report.

Also, the growing trade of Human Trafficking now ranks as the third most lucrative enterprise in the world. “These global trends have implications for Jamaica. Big money can undermine different arms of the state apparatus that have responsibility for the safety, security and protection of Jamaicans,” said Minister Chuck.

He further indicated that sexual offences rank as one of the most pervasive crimes in Jamaica and the incidence of violent and sexual crimes against children was often high and distressing, “Our country is often experiencing an increasing number of women engaging in Human Trafficking and in the trafficking of women and girls,” concluded Minister Chuck.

Highlighting the importance of the training, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Justice and Chair for NATFATIP, Mrs. Carol Palmer said that the training, “seeks to enhance the capacity of personnel who may directly or indirectly be required to interface with a trafficking victim and render the relevant support.”

She further revealed that due to the sensitive and clandestine nature of Human Trafficking, a good understanding of this offence was fundamental to providing victims with specialized care.

The event which attracted over 80 key personnel from various Ministries, Departments, Agencies and representatives from the Non Government Organization – Theodora Project, has as its main presenter Ms. Tabitha Gallerani, Director of Anti-Human Trafficking Department at the State Centre in Nassaua County, New York.

The trainees will be exposed to subject areas including the International and Local Legislative Context of Human Trafficking; Victimology; Understanding Human Trafficking; Victim Identification and Effective service delivery to victims of Trafficking.


November 15, 2016

By Dyhann Buddoo-Fletcher