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New security minister calls for J'cans to reject human trafficking in all forms

Published:Friday | March 30, 2018 | 12:00 AM
Minister of National Security Dr Horace Chang (left), greets Regional Representative, UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Regional Office for Central America and the Caribbean, Jose Vila Del Castillo (right), prior to the start of the launching ceremony for the Jamaica-UN Blue Heart Campaign at Emancipation Park in New Kingston on Wednesday. Also pictured is permanent secretary in the Justice Ministry, and chair, National Task Force Against Trafficking In Persons (NATFATIP) Carol Palmer.

The new minister of national security, Dr Horace Chang, is calling on Jamaicans to reject all forms of human trafficking, while reiterating the Government’s commitment to stamping out this heinous activity.

“We stand united as political leaders in Parliament. We reject (and) condemn such activity…We will take every step and every action we possibly can as a Government and as a Parliament, to find the means to ensure we can rid our society of this horrible and despicable crime,” he said.

Chang was addressing the launch of the Jamaica-United Nations (UN) Blue Heart Campaign at Emancipation Park in New Kingston on Wednesday.

He said it was disappointing that so many Jamaicans “could have the kind of heartlessness and cruelty to indulge in this kind of criminal activity,” stressing that every Jamaican who is associated with human trafficking should not only be held for their criminal action, “but everyone who knows one and does not report it, should hang their head in shame”.

According to national security minister, “It is something that as a society, we need to take a clear and definitive stand against and to be prepared to get that information to the police, to the security forces wherever possible, and in our whole action to take strong steps in dissuading anyone from even being mildly associated or condoning such actions.”

Chang pleaded with persons who are aware of this “most despicable and reprehensible crime,” to speak out and help to put a stop to it.

“There are citizens out there who must be aware of the venues where human beings are literally auctioned and advertised; you know the venues where businessmen are brought to observe young girls,” he said, noting that there are some who even assist these traffickers by recruiting victims, for a profit.

In the meantime, Regional Representative, UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Regional Office for Central America and the Caribbean, Jose Vila Del Castillo, commended Jamaica in joining the campaign which is gradually becoming a global movement, noting that the launch represents the leadership of Jamaica in the fight against this crime.