THE International Organization for Migration (IOM), in collaboration with the European Union (EU), on Tuesday handed over electronic equipment to the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) to bolster the fight against human trafficking.
Three laptop computers, cellphones, a printer, and printer cartridges were handed over in a presentation at the AC Hotel by Marriott in New Kingston. The equipment was purchased as part of the Multi-Country Border Security Project (MCBSP), implemented by IOM and funded by the EU.
This is the second such donation to the JCF through this project. In September 2021, IOM and EU donated binoculars, camcorders, night vision goggles, key chain voice recorders, digital voice recorders, mini key chain video cameras, hidden camera glasses, and flexible waterproof tripods.
IOM has also provided training to members of the Counter-Trafficking and Organized Crime (C-TOC) Unit of the JCF.
"IOM and the JCF have had a long-standing partnership to combat trafficking in persons in Jamaica and today we commit to continued collaboration and partnership to ensure that those who are the most vulnerable are protected and cared for," said Keisha Livermore, head of the IOM Office in Jamaica.
"We hope the items donated to the JCF will result in additional successes in identifying and protecting victims and punishing the perpetrators," added Livermore.
Head of cooperation at the EU Delegation to Jamaica, Aniceto Rodriguez Ruiz, in his remarks, said he is hopeful that the partnership will yield tangible success.
"The European Union is very satisfied to be supporting and to be a partner of Jamaica in promoting prevention and strengthening investigative capacities, networking, and providing equipment to fight trafficking in persons. I hope this will translate into fewer victims and successful prosecutions of perpetrators," said Ruiz.
Assistant commissioner of police and head of C-TOC Anthony McLaughlin expressed gratitude to the IOM-EU team on behalf of the JCF.
"In the fight against trafficking and crime in general, it is almost impossible to reap success without technology. This equipment will enhance the investigative capacity of the unit," said McLaughlin.
The MCBSP in Jamaica, Haiti, and the Dominican Republic has as one of its objectives raising awareness of human trafficking as well as providing support to anti-trafficking efforts in these countries.
According to the United States 2021 Trafficking in Persons report, Jamaica is ranked as Tier 2, which means that Jamaica does not fully meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking but is making significant efforts to do so.
The report indicated that sex trafficking of Jamaican women and children, including boys occurs on streets and in nightclubs, bars, massage parlours, hotels, and private homes, including in resort towns.
It also noted that traffickers increasingly use social media platforms and false job offers to recruit victims. In Jamaica's last report on trafficking, it was noted that Jamaican officials investigated 42 potential sex trafficking cases and one labour trafficking case.