Jamaica improves human trafficking ranking – report
Debbie-Ann Wright, Editor – Radio & Online
Jamaica has been upgraded from the tier two watch list of the US State Department’s 2013 Trafficking in Persons report to tier two.
The report was released by the State department today.
This year’s report says Jamaica remains a source, transit, and destination country for adults and children subjected to sex trafficking and forced labour.
It also says the exploitation of local children in the sex trade within Jamaica remains a serious problem.
The report states that the Government of Jamaica does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking but is making significant efforts to do so.
It says for another year, the government did not convict trafficking offenders but the government made efforts to raise awareness about human trafficking and demonstrated a proactive approach in identifying and assisting suspected forced labour victims.
The report also notes that the government initiated two new prosecutions, but serious concerns about impunity for perpetrators of human trafficking in Jamaica remained.
Speaking in Parliament this afternoon, the Minister of National Security, Peter Bunting, was pleased at the improvement in the ranking despite the areas for improvement.
Last year Bunting said Jamaica risked being unable to access funding from multilateral institutions if it fails to improve its human-trafficking record.
Last year was the third time that Jamaica was placed on the tier-two watch list.
The justice ministry is to hold a press conference tomorrow to discuss this year’s report.
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