TIP Task Force targets schools in awareness programme

GINA, GUYANA, Wednesday, September 21, 2016

The Ministerial Task Force on Trafficking in Persons (TIP) will soon roll out a public awareness programme targeting secondary schools. An edutainment programme is being examined for this level of children.

“We had an idea coming out of Task Force members of having flash mobs done … to basically attract students’ attention and have them focusing on the issue and actually gaining knowledge while being entertained as well,” Coordinator (acting) of the Ministerial Task Force, Oliver Profitt, told the Government Information Agency (GINA).

Coordinator (ag) Ministerial Task Force on Trafficking in Persons, Oliver Profitt

Coordinator (ag) Ministerial Task Force on Trafficking in Persons, Oliver Profitt

The awareness programme will be targeting Forms Four and Five students with eventual plans to expand the programme to other school levels.

The Task Force has been conducting interactive awareness sessions in schools across the country. Other awareness programmes that were undertaken by the Task Force include walkthroughs in markets in Georgetown, and Berbice and the dissemination of informational paraphernalia on TIP.

“We want persons to understand that Trafficking In Persons does not affect the Task Force only, it affects everyone, and it can affect anyone. Therefore, by us doing this awareness programme, it gives us the ability to actually be able to play a part,” said Profitt.

The general public “has an idea” of what TIP is, but one of the aims of the Task Force is to ensure that persons “have a full understanding of the actual issue, how it could affect them and others,” Profitt explained.

However, the Task Force has been challenged in covering Guyana’s vast terrain and dissemination of information. “Obviously we’re well supported by the government, but funding will always be an issue in terms of getting the information out so we appreciate any kind of help we can receive,” Profitt said.

Public awareness programmes are a major thrust of the TIP Action Plan which was completed this year. The two-year strategy is scheduled for public release later this year. Many of the activities outlined in the plan are expected to be undertaken in the following year pending approval of the Task Force’s budget. Profitt said the Task Force is proposing a budget of around $20M.

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