Mon | Sep 27, 2021

Anti-trafficking task force seeking to strengthen partnership with schools

Published:Friday | July 30, 2021 | 9:34 AM
Manager, Trafficking in Persons Secretariat, Ministry of National Security, Chenee Russell Robinson, speaking at recently held Jamaica Information Service Think Tank – Contributed photo.

The National Task Force Against Trafficking in Persons is seeking to strengthen collaboration with schools to reduce the number of persons who fall victim to human trafficking.

“We are inviting schools to partner with the NATFATIP because we find that most victims of trafficking are children,” said Manager, Trafficking in Persons Secretariat, Ministry of National Security, Chenee Russell Robinson.

“NATFATIP address the three Ps – 'Prevention, Protection and Prosecution' –surrounding trafficking. However, the preventative aspect is our focus in schools and is exercised through public education efforts. These include multimedia campaigns and initiatives such as Anti-Trafficking in Persons Clubs within secondary schools across the island,” she told a recent JIS Think Tank.

Russell Robinson informed that there are about 20 schools across Jamaica where clubs initiatives have been set up to sensitise students, teachers and parents about trafficking and the task force is actively working with the Ministry of Education, Youth, and Information to get more institutions on board.

The schools that already have clubs include Port Antonio High in Portland, where the initiative was born; Troy High, Trelawny; Dunoon Technical High and Vauxhall High, Kingston; and Marcus Garvey Technical High, St Ann.

Russell Robinson said that the task force is willing to visit schools regardless of their geographical location or facilitate online sensitisation sessions given the restrictions on face-to-face learning.

She noted that such partnerships are critical in effectively tackling human trafficking.

“The Government alone cannot curb trafficking. It is a whole-of-country approach because everyone is vulnerable to trafficking, so we are imploring schools to partner with us,” she said.

Interested schools can contact the Trafficking in Persons Secretariat, Ministry of National Security 876-906-4908 or email information@mns.gov.jm.

The task force was established in June 2005 as a multi-agency approach to enhance national capacity and to develop and implement Jamaica's legislative, institutional and operational response for combatting trafficking in persons.

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