IOM Helps Saint Lucia Build Capacity to Address Human Trafficking
Castries – This week (21/05) in Saint Lucia, more than 50 health and service providers gathered to hone their skills to prevent and respond to human trafficking. While information on the phenomenon in Saint Lucia is limited, authorities are working to identify and support victims, and to raise awareness about this crime.
Saint Lucia is a 617-square kilometre island state in the eastern Caribbean Sea. Like any other country in the world, the island is affected by trafficking in persons, which involves criminal groups deceiving and coercing men, women, and children into sexual exploitation and forced labour.
“Sensitizing and training frontline partners, like health professionals, diplomatic personnel, and civil society is a necessary first step to being able to find people who need help,” said Rosilyne Borland, IOM Senior Regional Thematic Specialist.
The events were part of an ongoing project supported by IOM, the UN Migration Agency through its Development Fund (IDF), and correspond to the counter-trafficking efforts of the Ministry of Home Affairs and National Security of Saint Lucia.
The project supports a series of training workshops with crucial front-line officials on identification, referral, and protection of victims of trafficking. It also aims to deliver an operational database to manage and process trafficking cases, and a full-scale national campaign to raise awareness about trafficking in persons.
The activities this week also aimed to raise awareness of different forms of trafficking and to identify ways in which the authorities and civil society organizations can work together to prevent trafficking, identify victims and provide victim support. From 9 to 13 April, two previous workshops took place in Saint Lucia under the same project, including Saint Lucia diplomats based in the UK, US, Cuba and Martinique.
The training sessions are contributing to a better understanding of essentials of human trafficking. It will further enhance knowledge of and improve the coordination of service providers and government Ministries and Departments that are part of the National Task Force in the country.
“We hope that the training will promote awareness about trafficking in persons in the Island and service providers will be able to identify and refer cases of human trafficking in Saint Lucia,” said Robert Natiello, IOM Regional Coordination Officer for the Caribbean and Chief of Mission in Guyana.
For more information please contact Robert Natiello at IOM Guyana, Tel: +592 231 6533. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or Jorge Gallo, at the IOM Regional Office for Central America, North America and the Caribbean at Tel: +506 22125300, Email: email@example.com