The Ministry of Human Services has said that two charges have been made out from 16 reports of trafficking in persons this year, even as it announced plans to boost the fight against this scourge by making it a priority issue on its 2015 agenda. In keeping with this, the Anti-trafficking in Persons Unit has been canvassing the country to further raise awareness about this crime, particularly in mining areas. Several sensitization activities have been held countrywide, including in 30 schools. Other actions have also been undertaken in collaboration with other institutions to generate a coordinated approach on the issue, a report from the Govern-ment Information Agency (GINA) said.
From the 16 reports of people trafficking made this year, to date eight have been completed and sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions from which two charges have been laid. Eight investigations are ongoing, while some cases are still pending in court.
The ministry has also provided support to trafficked persons, totalling $983,851 for this year and has scheduled a number of other activities on its work plan. These include publishing 5000 anti-trafficking awareness booklets for use in schools, along with other awareness exercises that are already ongoing.
In this vein, several public awareness posters have been developed and displayed at police outposts, immigration posts and at the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission’s (GGMC) check points in the hinterland.
Work has been ongoing with civil society representatives resulting in 100 of them being trained for greater participation with civil society.
The ministry is also currently working to establish and operate an area action task force for all 10 regions. This will see representatives from government and other organisations engaged in TIP prevention activities.
“The Ministry has worked hard in terms of protection, with developed activities to provide protection which is critical in the fight against TIP. Its officials are working at keeping alleged survivors in touch with their basic needs such as protection, psychological, food care and clothing needs,” the report said.