Indians Trafficked to Jamaica Assisted by IOM Highlights Increase in Trafficking from India to the Caribbean

Posted: 
08/15/11

An Indian national trafficked to Jamaica for forced labour returned
home today with IOM's assistance.

A total of five trafficked individuals from India, identified by
the Jamaican authorities, were being exploited at the same business
establishment.  All were assisted to return by IOM.

Their immediate shelter was provided by the Jamaican government
and later by the Indian High Commission in Jamaica.

"Having the Indian High Commission in Jamaica was a great
benefit; many times consular representation is absent, so that
makes return coordination even more of a challenge," explains
Chissey Mueller, IOM Project Manager.

Earlier this year, IOM and its partners in St. Maarten helped to
identify and return an Indian female who was trafficked for
domestic servitude.

These cases of human trafficking of male and female migrants who
have been forced to work in exploitative conditions in the
Caribbean, and cases of migrant smuggling to Central America and
Mexico, point to an increase in the number of Indians arriving in
the region.

In the case of the trafficked migrants assisted by IOM, they
were offered work and told that they would earn good money by a
local recruiter who has associates in a Caribbean country.

"It takes about two days and costs around USD 2,000 to fly from
India to a Caribbean country.  And the reality is that they
work 14 hour days, are deceived about the job, are threatened
regularly and are in debt because of the travel expense," adds
Mueller.

The migrants reported feeling trapped because India is far away
and they cannot buy airplane tickets home as they have not been
paid the promised wages.

IOM has been providing, on a case-by-case basis, technical
support and resources to partners in the English- and
Dutch-speaking Caribbean who are assisting the most vulnerable
migrants (such as minors and victims of trafficking) with immediate
shelter, food, medical care, and voluntary return and
reintegration.  More than 50 victims of trafficking in these
Caribbean countries have been identified and assisted by IOM and
partners since 2004.

The resources for this return have been made available as part
of IOM’s project, Protecting Vulnerable Migrants in the
Caribbean, funded by the US Department of State Bureau of
Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM), and managed by IOM in
Washington D.C.

The IOM office in Hyderabad, India, provides reintegration
support for the victims returned from the Caribbean.

For more information, please contact:

Chissey Mueller

IOM Washington D.C.

Tel: + 1 202 862 1826 Ext. 236

E-mail: "mailto:cmueller@iom.int">cmueller@iom.int