It will be difficult for Jamaica to change human trafficking ranking, says US
The United States is insisting that it will be difficult for Jamaica to improve on its human trafficking ranking without more convictions.
The US was reacting to Jamaica’s concerns over its 2015 human trafficking report which maintained Jamaica for the second straight year on the Tier 2 watch list.
Jamaica's Tier 2 ranking means that the country does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking although significant efforts are being made to do so.
The Jamaican government has said the report is unfair because it carried out significant efforts over the past year to combat the crime which should have resulted in an improved ranking.
However, acting public affairs officer at the US Embassy in Kingston, Rebecca Molinoff, says while those efforts are acknowledged, it is important that standards are applied objectively.
She told The Gleaner/Power 106 News Centre this morning that it will be difficult for any improvement in ranking without more convictions and sentences that fit the crime.
Molinoff says the US has recognised some of the challenges in building cases and this is why America is helping local courts to use video technology that will make it easier for witnesses to give evidence.
Jamaica has said it does not have control over decisions of the court adding that due process in criminal cases is a Constitutional guarantee.
Meanwhile, the US Embassy representative is rejecting the allegations by the Jamaican Government that many of the claims in this year’s report lacked supporting evidence.
According to Molinoff, all the claims in the report are substantiated.
Yesterday, Justice Minister Mark Golding said Jamaica is already in discussions with the US over the report but no change can be guaranteed.