Guyana is unfairly targeted in annual US State Department reports – President

Georgetown, GINA, June 27, 2013

Guyana is unjustly judged and ranked in several key areas by the United States government, notably in its ability and will to combat Trafficking In Persons (TIP), President Donald Ramotar said today at the inaugural Guyana Investment Conference at the Guyana International Conference Center.

The Head of State said that he had looked at the annual US State Department Report and found that it cited that developed nations have similar issues. “According to the report, the United States has far worse versions of the same challenges that we face”. This was expected due to the fact that the US was much bigger, he noted.

He said that US was cited for having some of its officials being found complicit, in their involvement in human trafficking and child prostitution. “Can you imagine if this were to happen in Guyana, what would be said about us? Yet the US is ranked at Tier 1 and Guyana at Tier 2”.  The “Tier” ranking refers to how countries are graded for their efforts to combat various issues.

The latest report again placed Guyana on the Tier 2 Watch List. The report states that the Government does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so.

Despite more efforts being made by government to address human trafficking issues, the president said, again the country has been graded at Tier two, and that, “This can impact on the local investment climate.”

The Head of State said that he doesn’t believe that a lot of the information contained in the report is true as information that is passed seems not to be used, but other sources may be utilised.

The President reiterated government’s commitment to work with international partners to fight this issue.

Government has committed itself to increasing resources that can be used to combat human trafficking and is working with several Non Governmental agencies in this regard. The Ministry of Human Services with support from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), conducted a campaign in Region Nine to educate residents and visitors on the issue of human trafficking. The Region Nine outreach included the setting up a booth at the popular annual Rupununi Rodeo.

More recently, the ministry, with the support of the UNDP held a three-day outreach in Bartica, educating residents and stakeholders there on the issue.

Recently, too, an Essequibo night club owner was charged with TIP.

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