Children to learn about dangers of human trafficking
Director of Children and Family Services at the Child Protection and Family Services Agency , Warren Thompson. Photo: JIS

KINGSTON, Jamaica - The Ministry of National Security is collaborating with the Ministry of Education and Youth to inform children about human trafficking.

Director of Children and Family Programmes at the Child Protection and Family Services Agency (CPFSA), Warren Thompson, said the initiative was necessary, as children are vulnerable to human trafficking.

“There is the inclusion of the trafficking in persons content in the Home Family Life Education curriculum in schools, where we want children and teachers to be sensitive and have an awareness of the issue.” Thompson said.

He continued, “they have an internal committee and a plan of action, aimed at basically doing some preventative work in schools across the island, so a number of things are happening in the education sector”.

Manager of the Trafficking in Persons Secretariat in the Ministry of National Security, Audrey Budhi, said following the creation of Anti-Trafficking in Persons (ATIP) clubs in schools in 2019, the National Taskforce Against Trafficking in Persons had further dialogue on engagement.

“What the team did, coming out of the intentional work from the task force, they have…[from] grades seven to nine…developed the curriculum and that curriculum is used at that level outside of what we were talking about with the clubs,” Budhi said.

She noted that school guidance counselors were trained on how to spot trafficking victims.

“They (Education Ministry) used the time wisely during the pandemic, where you couldn't go out, and what they have done creatively, as well, is whilst we were teaching the youngsters on television, we inserted those lessons [about trafficking] so that they were still learning and hearing about trafficking in persons,” Budhi noted.

She added that the ministry plans to re-engage the ATIP clubs.

“Those are what we're seeing now as leadership, and that they can hand off and you can have that rippling effect. Their group has come up with their own subcommittee to deal with prevention and terms of reference in terms of how they're going to deal with prevention issues, to meet the needs of their public,” Budhi said.

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