C-TIP Unit aiming to reduce human trafficking in 2017
GINA, GUYANA, Monday, November 21, 2016
The Ministry of Social Protection’s Counter-Trafficking in Persons (C-TIP) Unit will be intensifying efforts to curb the incidence of human trafficking.
Acting Coordinator, C-TIP Unit, Tanisha Williams-Corbin told the Government Information Agency (GINA) that several awareness campaigns which will be spread across schools, are planned for 2017 to sensitise citizens on human trafficking.
The C-TIP unit is also planning a local documentary on human trafficking which is aimed at eradicating the myth that trafficking only entails sex workers, and is exploring the possibility of conducting street theatres.
The unit intends to develop and pilot test a TIP module that is to be implemented in primary and secondary schools by the end of next year, to further create awareness.
Meanwhile, the unit will continue to work with its partners including the Guyana Police Force (GPF), Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC), and the Guyana Women Miners Organisation (GWMO) to conduct outreaches in the various regions. “The Guyana Women Miners Organisation has been of great help to the unit, we can always call on them to get information, and they will assist us, and they’re always willing,” Williams -Corbin noted.
Additionally there are some international bodies on board with the unit including the International Criminal Police Organisation (INTERPOL), International Organisation for Migration (IOM) and the United States Embassy.
“INTERPOL came and they did some training. We did needs assessment with them through the Ministerial Task Force. IOM continues to work in very close collaboration with us. They provide transportation services etcetera, and they are pushing for funding for us to do our awareness and continued training in the area of trafficking and the US Embassy is continuing to show support,” Williams-Corbin explained.
Further, the acting coordinator highlighted that one of the unit’s major successes this year is the conviction of Joyce Lawrence whose non-custodial sentence is currently being appealed. Williams -Corbin noted that the first restitution was offered last year, but since there was no custodial sentence, the matter is under appeal.
Another success is Guyana being promoted to tier two of the United States’ State Department Report on TIP. “We’re looking to be on tier one just to ensure we’re able to comply and most importantly we were able to rescue people who found themselves in difficult circumstances,” Williams – Corbin explained.
Therefore, the plan will enable the Unit to effectively rescue persons who are trafficked and ensure that those persons get justice, Williams -Corbin said.
She added that there are some challenges the Unit has to overcome to achieve these goals, one of which is travelling to the remote areas. Williams -Corbin said the journey is expensive and sometimes no public transportation is available.
Another challenge is the 72 hours for a victim to self-identify. “Research has shown internationally that a victim does not self-identify most times within 72 hours of a rescue, it takes time, you have to work with that victim, you have to encourage that victim, and often times persons cannot see they’re being exploited so the 72 hours pose a serious issue,” Williams Corbin noted.
However, Minister of Social Protection, Volda Lawrence is working to have that changed.
By: Ranetta La Fleur