Tue | Nov 24, 2020

Letter of the Day | Take the fight to human traffickers

Published:Saturday | July 13, 2019 | 12:00 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:

Human trafficking can be seen as modern-day slavery. In many parts of the world, men, women and children alike are treated inhumanely as they are forced into labour.

Victims often become timid, losing their sense of self as their ‘slave drivers’ manipulate them for the pleasure of getting their own way. The respect and dignity of those who are being trafficked is taken away as abuse and humiliation becomes their portion. Some people are tricked, or even forced into this cruel industry.

Jamaica, although a small island, is a hotbed for this type of illegal activity. We know that this activity is wrong, but do we have a solution? Though this is a difficult issue to tackle, let’s raise the conversation among our leaders as Human Trafficking Awareness Week approaches.

Everyone wants to be able to trust and respect others, as it is in our nature to do. In return, we all desire this treatment to be reciprocated. It is no surprise that humanity knows what it feels like to have their trust abused.

Human traffickers are often people who severely exploit the trust of people. These people can be anyone in society who we look up to, or hold in high regard. No one, especially those in authority, should be the instigator of human trafficking. People who are held captive in this cycle are often those who are forced to work without pay.

Still work to be done

According to a study that was done by the US Department of State, Jamaica has not fully reached its full potential in fighting human trafficking. There is still work to be done in regard to reforming our criminal justice system.

We need to spread the word that human trafficking is prevalant in our society and act accordingly to put a stop to it.

We need to increase the efficiency of human trafficking victim identification, train more of our officers to know how to deal with the issue, and educate the public. Together, we can take these steps forward to securing our people and our country.

RENE LAMBERT