Workshop Aims to Strengthen Criminal Justice and Aid to Trafficking Victims in Caribbean

Trinidad and Tobago - IOM is organizing a two-day counter trafficking workshop in Kingston, Jamaica, which ends today. At the event, participants from The Bahamas, Barbados, Jamaica and Saint Lucia are discussing national plans of action and improving tools for data collection and analysis.

This week’s session is the first of two cooperation workshops for 16 technical officers, members of the national task force and counter-trafficking units, as well as other IOM-trained officials from the labor departments, immigration, police, public prosecutors and social services.

The first day focused on national plans of action, specifically how the countries defined objectives and activities, formalized their plan, and measured their plan’s success. Today, countries will present and further improve their data collection and analysis tools, and data sharing mechanisms.

“Competing priorities make it a challenge for small island states to devote the necessary material and human resources to combating human trafficking in the medium and long terms.  IOM is confident that these workshops will increase intelligence and evidence gathering and will enhance cooperation between criminal justice agencies at the national and regional levels.  In the long-term we will see a more effective task force, a comprehensive plan of action, screening and referral processes, and common procedures for victim identification and assistance,” explained IOM Counter-Trafficking Officer Chissey Mueller.

The workshop is a part of an IOM 36-month regional project in the Caribbean, funded by the US Department of State’s Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons (J/TIP), which aims to advance the Caribbean’s counter trafficking response by strengthening institutional capacity to better identify and assist victims, and to investigate and prosecute trafficking-related offences.

Previous project activities included a series of trainings to build capacity of technical personnel to identify and assist victims of trafficking, and improve criminal justice efforts, and training for judiciary officials from The Bahamas, Barbados, Saint Lucia and Jamaica.

The Bahamas, Barbados, Jamaica and Saint Lucia are countries of destination for the trafficking of women and children, specifically for sexual exploitation and forced labor.  IOM’s research has also revealed trends in The Bahamas and Barbados for the trafficking of males for the purpose of forced labor.  IOM partners have responded to cases of human trafficking in The Bahamas, Barbados, Jamaica and Saint Lucia.

For more information please contact

Chissey Mueller
IOM Port of Spain
Tel. +1 868 727 0244