Barbados will continue its fight to eliminate human trafficking, says Attorney General, Adriel Brathwaite.
Addressing the Annual General Meeting of Soroptimist International of Jamestown yesterday evening at The Hildegarde Weekes Activity Centre in Eden Lodge, St. Michael, he gave the commitment to tackle that scourge as well as domestic violence.
“I’ve maintained the chairmanship of that committee [Human Trafficking] as a signal to Barbados and to the international community that as a Government that we are very serious about the issue of human trafficking. We want to ensure we do all within our power that where there are cases of trafficking that we will find them and we can do what is required to assist any of the individuals who are trafficked,” he said.
He said that the work of the committee was paying off when he saw that people had been arrested and charged and he noted that not only had the police set up a unit to deal with the issue but “more Barbadians are more sensitive to the fact that we don’t live in utopia and that in fact what happens elsewhere can possibly in Barbados”.
Training of police officers, immigration officers, landlords, and ordinary men and women
therefore was critical to the cracking down on the immoral and illegal practice.
“I’m confident that you, like myself, believe that in 2013 that there’s no place for that type of behaviour in modern Barbados. Unfortunately, one thing that history has taught us is that there is nothing new so that in 2013 the “slave trade” is probably even more profitable than it was when slavery began about 350 years ago… What is happening today is just as bad if not worse and is something that as individuals, and as a country we need to pay attention to…,'” the policy maker stated.
Making it clear that he would continue to address the inefficiencies in the response mechanism, Brathwaite noted his committee was looking more at the elimination of trafficking than at prostitution.
He added they received calls from time to time related to prostitution which were better directed at the Immigration Department.
Soroptimist International has a Purple Tear campaign which mirrors the work against human trafficking done by European and Northern England Soroptimist whose campaign colours and ribbons are purple.
Regarding domestic violence, the Attorney General “offered” to push related legislation through Parliament and reiterated that “certain amendments” to the Family Law Act would be made.
During his address he also gave his commitment to push the Organisation’s project for a half way house facility for girls. That project has been among the organisation’s plans for a number of years. (DS)