Guyana to boost efforts to fight TIP
– at national action plan workshop
Minister of Home Affairs, Hon. Robeson Benn says Guyana must boost its efforts to eliminate Trafficking in Persons (TIP), even as the country tackles COVID-19.
Minister Benn made these statements at the opening of the 2021-2023 National Action Plan for Trafficking in Persons workshop, held at the Sleepin Hotel on Monday. Minister of Human Services and Social Security, Hon. Dr. Vindhya Persaud and representatives of the Ministerial Taskforce on TIP also attended the workshop.
“In spite of these challenges, we have to ramp up our efforts. We have to ramp up our efforts, not merely because there is a Tier One status that we must meet and maintain, but [because] of empathy for human beings, empathy for our cousins from Venezuela, empathy for our brothers from Cuba and the Caribbean and other places, empathy for persons who are coming through to look for a better life,” he said.
Minister Benn said the emigration of Venezuelans to Guyana has created more avenues for such exploitation. In this regard, he said systems must be in place to ensure their safety.
“I want to dispel any notion that we don’t want the people to come. I want to say clearly that if people come to a country as ours, which has an extremely low population in terms of the requirements for its development, and a country that has lost a lot of its people to the diaspora, we need people.
We need young people. We need vigorous people. We need healthy people, but we need them to come under lawful circumstances,” he explained.
Minister Benn said there are linkages between migration for social and economic reasons and people trafficking.
“We think there is a seamless movement between the two issues. Whether people are being trafficked or whether people are being smuggled.
And, we have the important question of identifying clearly the issue of human smuggling, its impacts both in the country and the corrupting effect that it has, with respect to moving those persons in the country,” he said.
Meanwhile, Dr. Persaud said trafficking has no age limit, nor discrimination on the basis of gender and race. She said this form of “modern day slavery” strips a person of their basic rights, leaving them at the mercy of the trafficker. The Minister said all of Guyana must be able to counter TIP. In 2004, the Government ratified the United Nations Convention on Transnational Crime and its supporting instrument, the protocol to prevent and suppress TIP, especially among women and children.