TIP awareness session held at Indigenous games

DPI, Guyana, Monday, September 24, 2018

Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Coordinator (ag) Oliver Profitt to the opportunity to conduct a TIP awareness exercise during the Indigenous Heritage Games that were held at the Everest Sports Ground.

In an invited comment to the Department of Public Information (DPI), Profitt said the TIP task force saw the sporting event as an opportunity to raise awareness since most times, the act is carried out in the hinterland regions.

Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Coordinator (ag) Oliver Profitt

Profitt said “we thought it was a good idea to come out here while all of those communities are coming together to have a little discussion with persons and also let them know that we here. If they have anything they need to report or questions they want to ask with regards to trafficking in persons, maybe they would like us to come to their community to have an interactive session, we are here and we are available.”

Profit said that the feedback from spectators at the event was amazing with some even making recommendations. One such suggestion was to have a more cohesive inter-agency collaboration among the various ministries to better tackle the issue and also seek ways to provide income for persons living there since job opportunities are scarce. Proffit said that those recommendations along with the other will be taken on board.

He also highlighted that the task force will also be visiting a number of schools to raise awareness on TIP. These include Houston Secondary, Covent Garden Secondary, Friendship Secondary, Soesdyke Secondary and Diamond Secondary. It is expected that school sessions will focus largely on students from Forms One to Five.

The main idea Proffit said is to let them know TIP is real and that anyone can be targetted. “We know that young persons are being targetted a lot so we want to make them aware that trafficking in persons exists; let them know what it is and how they can protect themselves so that they can be on board with us,” he stated.

Over the past twenty months, the Task Force with the support of its member agencies has been conducting a series of training courses for various stakeholders and will continue to do likewise to combat the crime of TIP. Guyana’s fight against TIP has seen it maintaining its Tier one status in the US State’s Department of State’s TIP report for 2017.

Isaiah Braithwaite

Image: Leon Leung

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