The Human Trafficking Awareness Campaign in collaboration with the Ministry of Social Protection today, January 16, held a march in Georgetown to raise awareness about preventing trafficking in persons (TIP).
In her remarks at the event, Minister of Social Protection, Mrs Volda Lawrence said that she was heartened by the response from young Guyanese to the call to come out and support the awareness drive aimed at stopping the crime of human trafficking.
“We will not condone exploitation and trafficking of persons. We are free beings who should not be coerced into sexual arrangements and exploited for the material gains of others. There is no price attached to humans. Let’s burn the price tag!”, the Minister said to loud applause from those gathered.
Minister Lawrence added: “Our needs are infinite and our resources finite, leaving us with many gaps in meeting people’s social needs. We therefore welcome collaborations such as these not only because we cannot do it alone, but because we deeply value the impact young people could have on each other in addressing social issues. We believe that you have a greater role to play in the solution of many problems and therefore wish that you would continue to broaden your physical and social networks so that we can impact more lives”.
The Minister said among the challenges the country faces is removing the hinterland population from the periphery of national development. “As you are aware, it is there that TIP mostly occurs. We have to change this. We need to educate more of our people, especially your peers to be suspicious of employment offers that seem too good to be true”, she noted.
Minister Lawrence made a strong appeal for every stakeholder to work towards preventing TIP, especially by targeting the younger segment of the population who could help in the fight. She noted that young people everywhere are grappling with their own problems and persons should extend their reach to them as well. “We need to care more, talk to each other more and importantly, listen more”, she appealed.