Six young girls were rescued from various mining camps in the Issano area in Region Seven over the weekend as the Guyana Women Miners Organisation continue with their efforts to fight human trafficking. And two police officers who are based in the interior region are being probed for allegedly having sex with two of the trafficking victims.
According to the Organisation, the youngest girl who was rescued is just 14 years old. The eldest is 26 years old. The others are 15, 16, 18 and 20 years old. At least one of the young women has since been reunited with her family.
The organisation has a special Trafficking in Persons Unit that has been moving into many of the gold and diamond mining areas deep in Guyana’s interior region where human trafficking is believed to be at an all time high. Many young girls are taken into the mining communities and would find themselves as sex slaves for many of the miners.
The six young women who were rescued over the weekend believed they were heading into the mining district to work in grocery shops but once they arrived there, they were reportedly forced into a life of prostitution. They have all been handed over to the Police Force which has started a probe. Two of the young women have fingered two police officers who may have facilitated their transportation between mining camps and who may have played a role in the human trafficking ring.
President of the GWMO, Simona Broomes who has been leading the charge against human trafficking in the mining district told News Source that the 14-year-old who was found at 14 Miles, Issano in Region 7 may have been involved in prostitution activities for well over a month at the mining camp and may have visited the area before.
Ms. Broomes who was recently honoured by the U.S State Department for her efforts to fight human trafficking also explained that one of the young ladies who was rescued explained that at one time they were stopped by the police while in the company of the person who was taking them into the interior and the Police requested sexual favours from them in order to let them continue with their journey into the Backdam of the mining camps.
Two of the teenage girls said they were taken to the upper flat of an interior police station where they had sex with two policemen and were later allowed to leave the station.
Broomes also told News Source that one of the victims who was rescued by her group had been beaten badly by her trafficker after she “disrespected the boss lady” by having sex with a man who the “boss lady liked”.
The GWMO intends to continue its work in the interior areas to root out human trafficking. The United States in its 2013 Human Trafficking report flayed the Government of Guyana for not doing enough to tackle the problem and ensure successful prosecution of alleged traffickers. The State Department was however high in praise for the women miner’s group and its President for their efforts to tackle the problem on their own.
Guyana is listed on the Tier 2 watch list by the United States as a country where human trafficking exists.