Although for most of 2020, Guyana had its borders closed and there was a slowdown in activities across the country as a curfew was instituted, the authorities still found themselves dealing with a large number of trafficking in persons cases.
During a training programme for members of the Police Force on trafficking in persons, it was revealed that the crime remains a troubling one in Guyana.
The training programme was organised by the Ministry of Human Services.
The Coordinator of the Counter-Trafficking in Persons Unit Tanisha Williams- Corbin, told the participants that human trafficking continues to plague the Guyanese society.
“In 2020 the Ministry of Human Services counter in trafficking unit, recorded, identified, and assisted 225 victims of human trafficking. It may sound like a small number but if you take into consideration Guyana’s population you can understand why it is very very concerning”, she explained.
The Coordinator explained that the training programme is among a series of initiatives developed by the unit and the Ministerial task force to push back on human traffickers and help the victims.
“This training course was developed back in 2019 when we realized the need to have specialized training for traffic ranks. Prior to 2019, you were a part of just a broader, the genera anti-trafficking training for members of the Guyana Police Force and I can tell you we saw the need for this because we recognized that the majority of victims who were seen at the time were being transported on our roadways”, she pointed out.
Senior Probation Officer, Denise Ralph said the training of Police Officers is necessary since there have been many instances where the Police failed to identify potential victims of trafficking.
“You will be on the road wherever you are stationed, and you will come into contact with of trafficking and at the end of this training course, you will be able to identify them and refer them to us”, Ms. Ralph stated.
The Guyana Police Force’s Training Office, Superindent Shivpersaud Bacchus said the training will be ongoing since the Force will on the frontline in the fight against trafficking in persons in Guyana.
Guyana has been performing better in recent years in its fight against trafficking in persons. More victims have been getting the help they need and more of the perpetrators have been facing the Courts.