by Linda Straker
- Venezuela crisis can lead to human trafficking problem
- Prevention of Trafficking in Persons legislation came into effect in February 2016
- No public result yet for 2018 baseline survey on human trafficking in Grenada
Sally-Ann Bhagwan-Logie, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of National Security is of the opinion that the crisis in Venezuela is one that can lead to a human trafficking problem that will have an impact not just on Grenada. but on the entire Caribbean region.
“After all Venezuela is just over 500 miles from Grenada, this close proximity increases the likelihood of spillover effects from the ongoing crisis there and human trafficking may be one of the problems that Caribbean countries will face,” she told participants attending a 2-day workshop on the impact of human trafficking.
“This training workshop is quite timely, even the situation that now exists in Venezuela, its impact on the population of that country and the increasing population of persons fleeing to neighbouring countries for a better life,” said the Permanent Secretary.
She said that the training is one of government’s initiatives geared at taking measures to safeguard the country from becoming a jurisdiction that facilitates or condones this dehumanising crime.
Bhagwan-Logie said that as a transnational crime, victims of human trafficking can become a problem without notice. “It means that at any point the threat can materialise on our shores bringing us face to face with the problem whether on a small scale or a large scale,” she said, explaining to the participants representing government departments and social development non-profit organisations, that at present the problem does not appear to exist in Grenada.
A baseline survey to find out the level or state of human trafficking was conducted in Grenada in 2018 and the result is yet to be made public.
The workshop is aimed at educating and building awareness of stakeholders about the signs and red flags, alerts that can be linked both directly and indirectly to human trafficking.
“This workshop over the next 2 days will provide tangible proof of the commitment of the government and the proactive steps taken to prepare for and to confront the problem of trafficking of human beings.” The Permanent Secretary reminded the participants that Grenada has legislation to combat the issue, but there is no strategic framework.
The Prevention of Trafficking in Persons legislation was approved in 2014 by both houses of parliament and came into effect in February 2016. “But the legislation alone is insufficient, the time has come to develop the strategic framework that will support the legislation. Grenada’s anti-human trafficking approach is designed to hold the perpetrators accountable as they are in fact the ones who orchestrated the crime to exploit others by force or by fraudulent means,” she said.