There is a new form of slavery existing in Barbados that is driven by the love of money, Prime Minister Freundel Stuart said today.
This new slavery, he said, is human trafficking.
Speaking in Parliament during debate on the Trafficking in Persons Prevention Bill 2016, Stuart said while plantation slavery was over, there were those who were being degraded for the “material benefit” of others whose only interest was profit.
“All is not well with everybody in this country. We have the cataclysm system that sponsored plantation slavery, but the money making by any means is still a driver for certain individuals. And all those universal values to which we subscribe as a nation, those values that we have held up as exemplary values, we have to guard them jealously, we have to guard them diligently because there are people in this country who do not subscribe to those values and who see nothing wrong with the degradation of other people for their own material benefit,” the Prime Minister lamented.
Stuart lauded the legislation and appealed to Barbadians, particularly victims of human trafficking not to turn blind eye to the illegal practice.
“I feel sure that these animal instincts cannot be curbed overnight, and that once this legislation is sufficiently well publicized there may be people who may be willing to come forward and let the police know what they have been put through, the kind of exploitation to which they have been rendered subject and we can get to the root of this problem,” he explained.
“But let us not fool ourselves that because we got rid of plantation slavery and we celebrate that, that all slavery is over. Not only here in Barbados, we see it all across the world.
“That instinct to make the almighty dollar at any cost and at anybody’s expense is still very much a strong motivating factor. For me, slavery of every kind is a crime unredeemed and unredeemable by even one extenuating circumstance,” the Prime Minister insisted.