A large portion of the 68 cases of human trafficking recorded for the period January 2018 to May 2018 by the Guyana Police Force consisted of the victims being Venezuelan Nationals.
This is according to the Ministerial Task Force against Trafficking in Person (TIP) during the sidelines of an interview on Monday.
According to the acting Coordinator of the task force, Oliver Profit, most of the victims were adults.
“Most of our foreign victims are from Latin American countries. So they’d be from the Dominican Republican, [which] has been showing up a lot, recently…Brazil was showing up before but now we’re seeing more Venezuelan Nationals,” he said.
In making reference to a recent raid conducted by the Guyana Police Force which resulted in some 41 alleged victims being rescued, Profit said that 35 were identified as Venezuelans.
“We would have had a case earlier this year. It was a raid conducted by the Guyana Police Force…Of 41 alleged victims there, about 35 would have been Venezuelan Nationals and since then we would have had a couple more cases…” he noted.
One of the possible contributing factors towards the increase in the numbers of Venezuelans being trafficked may be linked to the country’s economy-which is in partial default on its debt and suffers severe shortages of food and medicines despite sitting atop the planet’s biggest proven oil reserves- prompting an exodus of thousands daily from the troubled country.
In the US State Department Trafficking in Persons 2017 Report it said that Guyana is a source and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to sex trafficking and forced labour in mining, agriculture, forestry, domestic service and shops.
The report stated that for the past five years women and children from Guyana, Brazil, The Dominican Republic, Suriname, and Venezuela have been subjected to sex trafficking in mining communities in the interior and urban areas.
Guyana is on the Tier Two watch list of the US State Department for TIP which means the country has met the minimum standards for fighting TIP.