A Jamaican human-trafficking survivor will be among the presenters at an inaugural international conference highlighting the crime to be held at the Meliá Braco Village Hotel in Trelawny from July 25 to 26.
The first forum of its kind to be convened in the Caribbean, the conference will be hosted by the National Task Force Against Trafficking in Persons (NATFATIP), under the theme ‘From Victim to Survivor: The Hard Road to Recovery’.
It is one of the key events that will be held to mark Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Week, to be observed from July 22 to 28 under the same theme.
Details on TIP Week, and the conference in particular, were provided by Chair, NATFATIP, Carol Palmer, during a press briefing held at the offices of the Ministry of Justice in Kingston on Wednesday (July 18).
Mrs. Palmer, who is Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, said the conference has attracted several presenters from the local and international community, in keeping with the thematic focus of TIP Week.
“Presenters from Romania, France and the United States of America will be joined by local presenters, who bring considerable expertise in various aspects of human trafficking,” she said.
Mrs. Palmer informed that Jamaican human-trafficking survivor, Shamere McKenzie, who has a voice in the international community, will deliver the opening address.
“There can be no more powerful voice than that of a person who has survived and who has recovered to speak to the challenges faced by victims of trafficking on their journey to recovery from the pain and trauma they have experienced. She is one of two ambassadors who have agreed to lend their public image and voice to Jamaica’s national effort to fight against human trafficking,” she said.
The other ambassador is Miss Jamaica World 2017, Solange Sinclair.
The NATFATIP Chair further informed that the objectives of the conference are to improve cooperation among regional law-enforcement agencies to deter and combat trafficking in persons, increase public awareness to discourage these activities and to warn those who are unaware, and train officials throughout the public and private sectors on identifying victims of trafficking.
It also aims to build capacities through legislation and institutional strengthening; explore the provision of appropriate protection and assistance to victims of trafficking, particularly women and children; develop an Outcome Document setting out a collective strategy in the fight against trafficking in persons; and promote the sustainability of partnerships to effectively combat the offence.
Some of the topics that will be covered at the conference include Victimology; Cybercrime and Human Trafficking: the Dark Web and Social Media; Child Trafficking: A Clear and Present Danger; and Partnerships for Sustainability.
In the meantime, Mrs. Palmer said this year’s observance of TIP Week, which seeks to raise awareness of this crime, will be victim-focused and victim-centred.
“We hope that the attention and public discourse that will emanate from the Week’s activities will continue to raise awareness about the plight of victims and why it is necessary for not just a ‘whole of Government’ but a ‘whole of country’ response (to help victims),” she said.
Mrs. Palmer further noted that even though TIP Week officially ends on July 28, its observance will be extended to July 30, which is recognised worldwide as World Day Against Trafficking in Persons.
The Week’s activities will commence with a church service at the Providence Methodist Church in Kingston on July 22.
Media personnel interested in covering the event can register for accreditation on the JIS’s website at: https://jis.gov.jm/natfatip-international-human-trafficking-conference/.
Mrs. Palmer informed that the Ministry will arrange accommodation for the press.