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Jamaica improves on US human trafficking report

Published:Friday | July 1, 2016 | 7:55 AM

Jamaica has been upgraded to Tier 2 on the 2016 US State Department Trafficking in Person Report.

A Tier 2 ranking means that the country is making important strides in tackling human trafficking and is well on its way to full compliance with international human trafficking laws and standards.

For the past two years Jamaica had been on the Tier 2 Watch List and was facing the possibility of being moved down to Tier 3 if it received the ranking for a third consecutive year.

Human trafficking is the movement of people through force, coercion or deception to work or sexually exploit.

According to the US report, the Jamaican government has secured two human trafficking convictions, the first in seven years, and prosecuted nine cases against 14 alleged traffickers.

The report also stated that among other things, Jamaica has increased efforts to protect victims, increased the training of key stakeholders, and developed national policies on combating human trafficking.

However, it says Jamaica must now vigorously prosecute, convict, and punish traffickers; identify and help more victims of forced labour and sex trafficking; and develop a new, comprehensive national action plan with adequate funding dedicated to implementing the plan.

The Justice Ministry has welcomed Jamaica’s improved tie two ranking for trafficking in person.