Guyana’s small population has been hit with the growing problem of human trafficking cases, with statistics demonstrating that some 156 cases were recorded for 2018 only.
This was divulged during the Social Protection Ministry’s Trafficking in Persons (TIP) workshop earlier today (Wednesday) where the Counter Trafficking in Persons Unit provided training to shelter managers and operators.
Coordinator of the programme, Tanisha Williams-Corbin shared some of the alarming statistics which were recorded for last year as she stated that the Ministry has seen notably high statistics in these cases. Out of the 156 persons that were assisted, some 93 of them were transferred to shelters and similar agencies for additional support.
According to her, this trend has continued into 2019, with some eight cases reported in less than two months. For this, provisions were made for other countries and entities to contribute in these investigations.
“For 2019 so far, [it’s the] same thing. To date, we have recorded eight cases of suspected trafficking in persons. 45 victims were identified on the soils of Guyana and we’re working closely with a Caribbean island and the International Organisation for Migration to repatriate one victim who was recruited in Guyana but trafficked to a Caribbean country,” she stated.
The Guyana Police Force (GPF) has also played a role in locating trafficked persons and preventing such incidents.
In its 2018 Trafficking in Persons Report, the US-State Department noted that although the Guyana Government meets the minimum standards, it did not provide adequate protection and shelter outside the capital, or for child and male victims.
It said the number of trafficking investigations and new prosecutions decreased, and the number of successful convictions remained low.