“Officials from the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC) and Guyana Forestry Commission (GFC) – TIP Training“

Thirty (30) Mines and Forestry Officers of the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC-15) and Guyana Forestry Commission (GFC-15) who are stationed, or will be stationed in a number of hinterland communities, recently participated in a two-day Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Victim Identification Workshop from January 26th -27th, 2022.   

The participants were engaged in various presentations and discussions, aimed at enabling them to be more cognisant of their environment. The training has also provided them with the requisite tools to understand the crime of trafficking in persons and the nature of inter-agency collaboration in fighting TIP, as well as boost Guyana’s operational capacity to respond to incidence of TIP in the hinterland region.

Hon. Robeson Benn, MP – Minister of Home Affairs and Chairman of the Ministerial Task Force on Trafficking in Persons (middle) and participants from the GGMC and GFC who participated in the two (2) days TIP Training Workshop

In addition, participants were sensitised on the local immigration policy for foreign nationals as it relates to applications for extension-of-stay and work permits to operate in the mining and forestry sectors.  

Chairman of the task force, Hon. Robeson Benn, MP delivering the ‘feature Address,’ noted that “we have to take account of the significant challenge we have in respect to law and order and human trafficking”.

He mooted that “human trafficking is an extremely lucrative transnational crime and this has proliferated within the extractive industry, because we have strayed from the old procedures of needing to have a signed privilege or a signed certificate of registration to move from one mining claim to the next. It has made our forests and mining areas more porous to questionable characters”.  

He said he would like to see that procedure reinstated as there are some communities in the hinterland that are plagued with specific crimes, such as murder, rape and the exploitation of women ( some below the age of 16 years ).

Further, the minister noted that persons working in the mining and forestry industry should be properly registered, whether it’s a forest concession, prospecting license, mining claim or permit, and this is required by law. They have to be accounted for.  That’s the only way we will be able to bring back some order and proposer regulation of the sector.

Minister Benn advised participants to take advantage of the training and put the knowledge gained into practice in an effort to curb this growing phenomenon and to enhance peace and security in the mining and forestry districts.  

Presenters for the course included representatives from the Ministry of Home Affairs – TIPs and Immigration Support Services Departments, Ministry of Human Services and Social Security, Guyana Police Force – CID Major Crimes TIP Unit, Guyana Women Miners Organization (GWMO) and the Office of the Director of Public Prosecution

The Ministry of Home Affairs remains committed to collaborating with stakeholders, both local and foreign, to combat the crime of human trafficking in Guyana, through the pillars of Prevention, Protection and Prosecution.