Basseterre, St. Kitts, July 25, 2019 (SKNIS): The Ministry of National Security and by extension the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis, received technical assistance products aimed at assisting the Federation in filling the existing capacity gaps in prosecuting cases of human trafficking. The products were handed over during a ceremony at the Ministry of Finance Conference Room on Thursday, July 25.
The International Organization for Migration (IOM) handed over a report that outlines “Recommendations for setting up a National Task Force and Public Awareness Campaign on Human Trafficking in St. Kitts and Nevis”. They also turned over a database. On Wednesday, July 24, 20 persons from across various ministries and departments were trained to use the database.
Samuel Berridge, Senior Foreign Service Officer in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Aviation said that the handing over signaled the culmination of the phase of the project entitled Capacity Building and Public Awareness in trafficking persons. He added that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs reached out to the international stakeholder for assistance.
“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs approached the IOM through its regional office in Georgetown, Guyana, requesting assistance in filling the existing capacity gaps which exists in our jurisdiction to enable us to fulfill our international obligations, while at the same time creating an enabling environment for cohesive societies underpinned by the rule of law,” he said.
Lori Mann, International Consultant of the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP) – European Union (EU) Migration Action /IOM Expert, wished all stakeholders involved a successful implementation.
“This project is closing but your work is just beginning. We hope that you take the recommendations that we have presented in this report forward and that IOM is poised to continue to offer technical assistance and support as you do bring this forward,” said the consultant. “It was for me, a sincere pleasure to be able to meet and work with all of you. I learn a lot during the process. I hope that you all did as well, and I also sincerely hope that you mobilize the drive and the political will that is necessary to take those recommendations forward.”
The human trafficking initiative is a demand driven project by the IOM in collaboration with the European Commission, the ACP and the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis.
In April 2019, several participants representing government departments and civil society organizations attended a two-day workshop to build capacity in combating human trafficking within our jurisdiction. The workshop was organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in collaboration with the International Organization for Migration (IOM).
According to www.unodc.org, the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, especially Women and Children, was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly resolution 55/25. It entered into force on December 25, 2003. It is the first global legally binding instrument with an agreed definition on trafficking in persons. The intention behind this definition is to facilitate convergence in national approaches with regard to the establishment of domestic criminal offences that would support efficient international cooperation in investigating and prosecuting trafficking in person’s cases. An additional objective of the Protocol is to protect and assist the victims of trafficking in persons with full respect for their human rights.