The United States Government through its State Department is calling on the Guyana Government to fund specialized victim services outside the capital as the fight continues against trafficking in persons.
The State Department also wants those services to be unveiled for child victims and adult male victims of human traffcking.
Those are just some of the recommendations being offered to Guyana in the US State Department;s 2018 Trafficking in Persons report.
The US Government would also like to see Guyana vigorously investigating and prosecuting sex and labor trafficking cases and hold convicted traffickers, including complicit public officials, accountable by imposing strong sentences.
“Finalize the written identification procedures to better guide law enforcement officials; train more law enforcement, judiciary officials, and front-line responders—especially those working outside the capital—on victim identification and referral procedures; develop standard procedures for protecting foreign victims; provide additional protection for victims to testify against traffickers in a way that minimizes re-traumatization; monitor the number of cases reported to the trafficking hotline or by labor inspectors to promote a rapid investigative and victim assistance response; and provide training for diplomatic personnel on trafficking”, the report recommends.
According to the report, the Guyana Government increased efforts to identify and protect trafficking victims, but victim assistance remained insufficient, especially in areas outside the capital and for child and male victims.
The Guyana government identified 131 victims of trafficking in 2017 (65 for sex trafficking, 35 for labor trafficking, and 31 for both forms).
The US report found that the Government of Guyana fully meets the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and it continues to demonstrate serious and sustained efforts during the reporting period, resulting in Guyana remaining on Tier 1 list.
“The government demonstrated serious and sustained efforts by increasing funding for victim assistance, identifying and assisting more victims for the third consecutive year, and opening and operating a trafficking shelter outside of the capital area. Although the government meets the minimum standards, it did not provide adequate protection and shelter outside the capital, or for child and male victims. The number of trafficking investigations and new prosecutions decreased, and the number of successful convictions remained low”, the report stated.