Categorized | National News

Gov’t Launches Project To Fight Human Trafficking

A 36-month project has been launched to help the government in its fight against human trafficking to and from The Bahamas.

Minister of National Security Dr. Bernard Nottage said Monday that the project is designed to strengthen the International Organization for Migration’s (IOM) capacity to respond effectively to human trafficking.

According to the minister, a second programme is set to be launched next month and is expected to be a training project for trainers.

Officials are taking this step, he said, “Because successive governments have, for years, had to deal with the heavy burden on our country – an institution of illegal migration that was brought on by incessant human smuggling activities.”

“Human trafficking was an obscure activity with little known and little being understood, that was silently festering within our country. Human trafficking was an obscure activity with little being known and little being understood, that was silently festering within our country,” he said.

The United Nations Office on Drugs (UNODC), Global Report on Trafficking in Persons 2012 shows that people from 136 different countries were trafficked and 118 of those cases were detected in that same year.

Dr. Nottage says he is concerned as the number of human trafficking cases in The Bahamas is increasing.

“We know that the geography of our islands and our porous borders renders The Bahamas ideally suited as a transit point for illicit trafficking activities from the south destined for the north and trafficking in persons is no exception,” he said.

“In this vein, the government is taking proactive steps to combat the problem of trafficking in persons before it becomes ingrained in the society. We are sending a clear message to the criminals who are engaged in this nefarious activity, that they will find no safe haven in The Bahamas. We will put all forces into place to root out the perpetrators of this evil crime from whatever they are, and prosecute them to the fullest extent of the law.”
The UNODC Global Report shows that women account for 55 to 60 per cent of the victims, with women and girls together accounting for about 75 per cent.

The report also indicates that trafficking for purposes of sexual exploitation accounted for 58 per cent of trafficking cases globally while forced labour accounted for 36 percent.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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