(de Ware Tijd) PARAMARIBO – The government has drafted a long-term plan to combat human trafficking in the country, entitled ‘Road map Suriname to Combat Human Trafficking 2012-2016’. The draft is currently being discussed with partners. “Suriname’s government is taking this global problem seriously,” says Glen van der San, chairman of the working group ‘Trafficking in Persons’ at the Ministry of Justice and Police (J&P).
He also commented on a report about Brazilian victims in Suriname based on figures of the United Nations. “Through the years, we have had some cases of this crime, and all have been prosecuted. In some cases, it involved Brazilian citizens,” he says. Although the Brazilian Embassy and the local police emphasize that the possibility the problem occurs in Suriname cannot be excluded, they doubt UN data showing Suriname as an important hub for such criminals. “I agree somewhat with Brazilian Ambassador Marcelo Baumbach that this crime is not alarming,” van der San adds.
Whether the problem is big or not, Suriname’s own national strategy will be discussed this year with the different stakeholders, possibly during a conference. Closer international cooperation is also included in the document. “Official talks with Guyana have already been planned,” van der San says. Worldwide trafficking in humans is estimated to yield US$ 16 billion a year, claiming around 30 million victims, including 2 million in Latin America and the Caribbean.