Five Guyanese forced to live, work under harsh conditions without pay in Suriname


suriname-map[] – The Guyana Police Force today informed that it was investigating the circumstances under which two sets of Guyanese nationals were victims of Trafficking in Person (TIP) in neighboring Suriname.

In Suriname, the five Guyanese Amerindian men were reportedly placed to live under harsh conditions with limited food and they were required to work for long hours. They were also not paid for their labour.

The Guyana Embassy in Suriname informed the Surinamese authorities, and upon the return of the affected persons they provided information to the Guyanese authorities which led to the commencement of the investigations.

The Guyana Police Force is alerting members of the Guyanese society to be cautious when they are considering similar job offers.

Meanwhile, in a Facebook post Guyana’s Foreign Affairs Minister Carolyn Rodrigues – Birkett confirmed the report.

Minister of Foreign Affairs, Carolyn Rodrigues - Birkett.
Minister of Foreign Affairs, Carolyn Rodrigues – Birkett.

She explained that that on the afternoon of Friday November 21, the Embassy of Guyana, in Suriname, was informed by the Surinamese authorities that five persons, who indicated that they were Guyanese nationals, were at a Surinamese Police Station and were being sent to Guyana the following day.

“In view of the fact that the Embassy was also advised that the persons were victims of trafficking in persons, two officials, including the Ambassador, immediately visited the station outside the city of Paramaribo to interview the five males,” she stated.

Details regarding the allegations of trafficking were obtained during that interview and a report was submitted to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs the very afternoon, given the seriousness of the allegations.

Rodrigues – Birkett said the report included details provided by the individuals about their passage to Suriname, the known name of the alleged perpetrator and where they were located since they arrived in Suriname. The Embassy was able to confirm that four of the men are from Region One and one from Region Four.

While all five men were asked to provide telephone numbers for their relatives in Guyana, only four were able to do so. The Embassy was therefore able to make contact with the relatives of three out of four of the individuals who provided contact numbers. There was no response from the number provided by one of the individuals.

Given the circumstances and the absence of the necessary travel documents (which is ordinarily an offence), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs facilitated their release upon entry into Guyana.

The report received from the five men has been provided to the Ministry of Home Affairs and the relevant law enforcement authorities of both countries are in contact under the mechanism which exists between our two countries.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs wishes to advise the public to be wary of too lucrative to be true job offers outside of Guyana and where promises of securing the necessary travel documents and work permits are made.



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