Categorized | Featured, National News

Gov’t Approves Strategy to Combat Human Trafficking

Minister of National Security Dr. Bernard Nottage addressed a joint meeting with the Trafficking Persons Inter-Ministry Committee and the National Trafficking in Persons Task Force on human trafficking issues in The Bahamas yesterday.

During the meeting, Dr. Nottage stressed the importance of combating human trafficking.

This year, both the Trafficking Persons Inter-Ministry Committee and National Trafficking in Persons Task Force were successful in completing the ‘National Anti-Trafficking in Persons Strategy for the Years 2014-2018,’ which received the approval of the Cabinet. The strategy includes the National Action Plan for Trafficking in Persons.

Dr. Nottage said the government will move to ensure that requisite funding is in place to support the implementation of the National Action Plan.

He said human trafficking in its many forms is a very serious crime not only nationally, but on a regional and international scale.

“Trafficking in persons is a heinous transnational crime that impacts thousands of persons the world over, wreaking havoc on it victims,” he said.

“It is accepted that trafficking in persons is modern day slavery. Its victims are men, women, boys and girls who are recruited, transported and harbored by means of force or other forms of coercion, abduction, deception, fraud or abuse of power for the purpose of sexual exploitation. The exploitation takes place mainly for sexual purposes or sexual forced labour.”

Dr. Nottage said the pure reality of the matter is that many victims of this crime, whether by force of labor or sexual exploitation, are unaware that they are being trafficked.

However, the minister of national security said his ministry and the government have moved to end all forms of human trafficking and have already begun making strides for the year.

“Just a few years ago, the general view was that trafficking in persons did not exist in The Bahamas and that it was being confused with human smuggling,” he said.

“Over the past two years, The Bahamas has assisted three foreign victims of trafficking in persons and successfully prosecuted two trafficking in persons cases with the traffickers sentenced and taken off the streets. This year, our law enforcement officers have investigated 13 potential trafficking in person’s situations to determine whether there was any evidence of trafficking in persons present.”

Written by Jones Bahamas

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