There will be no major fallout as a result of Barbados’ downgrade in the 2019 Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report.
That assurance came today from Attorney General Dale Marshall, who said Barbadians had nothing to fear.
In the report released last Thursday by the U.S. State Department, Barbados was relegated from Tier 2 to Tier 2 Watch List (2WL).
The country was among nine others from the Caribbean which were downgraded.
While it noted that Barbados had made some strides in addressing human trafficking, the report chastised Government for not doing enough to prosecute persons found guilty of human trafficking.
However, speaking to members of the media on the sidelines of a Counter-Terrorism Table Top Exercise at the Barbados Defence Force, Marshall said Government’s international relationships and obligations would not be affected as a result of the downgrade.
“In the Human Trafficking Report we’ve been moved from Tier 2 Simplicity to Tier 2 Watch List. There are no requirements or requests made of Barbados to do particular things and I think we will all agree that the very concept of human trafficking as far as Barbados is concerned will cause people to wonder what on earth are we talking about and is there really human trafficking in Barbados?” the Attorney General stated.
“So we think that we’ve been doing a good job so far, but obviously there are some areas that we have to look at but there’s nothing Barbados needs to fear. It just demonstrates the relationships between what we are doing in terms of fighting terrorism and trying to keep financing away from terrorism because part of the way in which terrorism is funded is through some of the human trafficking issues. So it’s something on our radar but at this point even though we’ve slipped there are no immediate issues and there’s no impact on any of our international obligations in that regard.”
However, Marshall admitted there were several improvements Barbados needed to make.
The Attorney General also lauded the Royal Barbados Police Force for its efforts in fighting prostitution rings from around the region.
“But that aside, we do have to meet certain international obligations and monitoring the human trafficking possibilities and trying to eliminate those is what we’re required to do. We’ve slipped and what this requires us to do now is to look at those areas in which we may have some issues and try to deal with them,” Marshall said.