Many males are human-trafficking victims — JCF
Head of the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Unit, Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF), Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Carl Berry, addresses the Tourism Product Development Company (TPDCo) 'Trafficking in Persons' webinar, which was streamed via the Zoom platform and TPDCo's social media pages from the Montego Bay Convention Centre in St. James, on Wednesday, March 9

ST JAMES, Jamaica —  Head of the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Unit, Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF), Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), Carl Berry, has informed that males now form a large part of the number of human-trafficking victims.

Addressing a Tourism Product Development Company (TPDCo) 'Trafficking in Persons' webinar at the Montego Bay Convention Centre in St James, on March 9, Berry noted that in the year 2000, predominantly women and children were the primary targets of human trafficking.

“However, fast-forward and we see an enormous number of males now being victims of human trafficking. It means, therefore, that we could [just say] everybody [is targeted], because we are all vulnerable,” he said.

DSP Berry is also encouraging citizens to play a more active role in helping to eradicate cases of human trafficking. He called on individuals to educate themselves about the issues, “name and shame” people suspected of taking part in human trafficking, and report suspicions of the crime promptly.

For her part, Executive Training Manager at TPDCo, Ruth Harris, who spoke on behalf of the organisation's Executive Director, Wade Mars, underscored that one way to eliminate human trafficking is by making the issue everybody's business.

“It is essential that everyone knows what it is and how to stop it. Therefore, I invite you to not only absorb this information but to apply the knowledge gained,” she said.

“Being a global [issue], a collective effort is paramount to effectively mitigate and put an end to trafficking in persons. As such, the webinar seeks to provide an avenue that will encourage you to treat this issue as a matter of national priority. We are charged with the responsibility of raising public knowledge and awareness of this heinous crime across the length and breadth of Jamaica,” Harris said.

Human trafficking can be defined as the receipt, harbouring and transportation of a person through various means of threat, use of force, fraud or other deceptive means or even abduction, for the exploitation of that person.

As of April, TPDCo will be introducing a human-trafficking module as part of the Team Jamaica training and certification programme.

The webinar highlighted current international and local best practices on how to identify, rescue and care for trafficked victims.

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