Thu | Nov 15, 2018

Regional law enforcers, prosecutors discuss solutions to human trafficking cases

Published:Tuesday | June 26, 2018 | 6:05 PMJason Cross
Keisha Livermore, a representative of the International Organisation for Migration, addresses law enforcers and prosecutors from Jamaica, Belize, Antigua and Barbuda, and Trinidad and Tobago at a co-operation workshop, held at the Knutsford Court Hotel in St Andrew yesterday. The workshop focused on navigating challenges of the criminal justice system in the Caribbean, particularly as it relates to prosecuting cases of trafficking in persons.

Key issues preventing the prosecution of persons in human trafficking cases in four Caribbean nations were placed on the table yesterday during a corporation workshop at the Knutsford Court Hotel in St. Andrew.

Law enforcement officials and prosecutors from Jamaica, Belize, Trinidad and Tobago and Antigua and Barbuda gathered to share ideas that could help to speed up the process of dealing with human trafficking cases before the courts.

The three-day workshop was organised by the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), in partnership with the United States Embassy in Jamaica under the theme, 'Navigating Challenges of the Criminal Justice System in the Caribbean, prosecuting Trafficking in Persons Cases'.

“This workshop is important because prosecution is one of the key tools for effective counter trafficking response,” Keisha Livermore, head of IOM Kingston told The Gleaner.

“Prosecution serves as a preventative measure. Once criminals realise that there are strong and effective prosecution happening in a country, with harsh sentencing, they are least likely to want to participate in that particular crime,” Livermore stated.

She continued: “It is important for us to have this session so that law enforcement prosecutors can collaborate. One issue that has been highlighted is that they have been having problems with prosecution for different reasons. It might be because the victims are traumatised and not willing to participate, or it might be that the victims have moved on because of the length of time it takes for cases to get to court and they no longer want to revisit that horrible moment in their lives.”

jason.cross@gleanerjm.com