Added: Tawni Mcmanus - Date: 25.04.2022 22:54 - Views: 25548 - Clicks: 9731
The Government of Jamaica does not fully meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making ificant efforts to do so. The government demonstrated increasing efforts compared to the reporting period; therefore Jamaica remained on Tier 2. These efforts included investigating more suspected traffickers, identifying more victims, referring more victims to shelters, and achieving a conviction that resulted in a ificant prison term.
The government also conducted a wide range of training efforts for police, civil society, and government officials and maintained a budget for its specialized anti-trafficking unit. However, the government did not meet the minimum standards in several key areas.
Overall budget for anti-trafficking efforts decreased, and resource constraints and coordination issues across agencies hindered their efficacy in combatting trafficking. Although there were numerous trainings for government and civil society, victim identification and referral to appropriate services remained weak. Increase effectiveness of victim identification efforts. The government maintained limited law enforcement efforts. These penalties were sufficiently stringent; however, with respect to sex trafficking, by allowing for a fine in lieu of imprisonment and prescribing a lower maximum imprisonment term, these penalties were not commensurate with those for other serious crimes, such as rape.
Officials investigated 41 potential sex trafficking cases and two labor trafficking cases, compared with 36 cases of sex and labor trafficking investigated in the reporting period, and 30 cases the year before that. Fourteen of the sex trafficking investigations originated from tips received from a national hotline for cases of child abuse, including human trafficking, operated by the Child Protection and Family Services Agency CPFSA.
None of the investigations originating from hotline tips resulted in any arrests or prosecutions. During the reporting period, the government initiated five new prosecutions for sex trafficking and two new prosecutions for labor trafficking, and reported that 21 total prosecutions are currently in process.
In the reporting period, authorities initiated six prosecutions, but all were for sex trafficking offenses; they initiated three new prosecutions the year before that. The government convicted one trafficker from a child sex trafficking case and sentenced him to five years in prison for human trafficking and three years in prison for having sex with a minor, running concurrently; the trafficker also was required to pay restitution to the victim in the form of vocational training fees.
Ten investigations were eventually prosecuted as non-trafficking crimes. The slow pace at which cases moved through the courts hampered efforts to hold traffickers criminally able and deterred victims from serving as witnesses. There were no investigations, prosecutions, or convictions of government employees complicit in trafficking offenses, but informal information from survivors indicated that police officers were complicit in sex trafficking operations disguised as massage parlors. The government maintained a specialized police unit with a dedicated budget that investigated human trafficking and vice crimes, as well as a team of prosecutors specialized in human rights, intellectual property, and sexual offenses.
The government included a module on combatting trafficking in its basic training for all new police recruits, but did not report how many officers received this training. It reported a total of police attended training or other informational sessions on human trafficking during the year. ONRTIP collaborated with a foreign donor to develop a new online training program for first responders, but this training was not implemented during the reporting period.
Some individual judges had specialized trafficking experience, but there was no mechanism to as trafficking cases to these judges. There was often a lack of courtrooms available to prosecute trafficking cases, and many victims were unwilling to testify in trafficking cases due to fear of retribution or social stigma. The government maintained efforts to protect victims. The anti-trafficking police unit reported ten victims identified during the reporting period, compared with six victims identified during the reporting period.
The victims identified included five labor trafficking victims—one Jamaican male child, two Indian adult males, one Honduran adult male, and one Chinese adult male—as well as five Jamaican victims of sex trafficking—four adult women and one female. The government reported that three Jamaican trafficking victims were identified and repatriated from abroad by foreign authorities. However, key stakeholder groups such as front line police officers, the CISOCA investigators, and social workers lacked standardized procedures to screen for indicators of trafficking among the vulnerable populations they assisted.
The government reported that victims were provided with additional services while receiving accommodation, including medical and psychological care, food, and clothing.
Other victims that were not referred to shelters were returned to their homes. The government reported that victims who did not receive accommodations received services including food, medical care, and psychological care, but did not provide additional details on the duration or scope of these services.
Several government agencies began working with a donor-funded NGO to develop a national referral mechanism for child trafficking victims, but this was not finalized during the reporting period. There were no shelters that could accommodate adult male victims, but the government reported providing temporary accommodation to one adult male in private lodging. Foreign victims were able to access the same services as Jamaican national victims. The government provided Jamaican citizenship and a passport to a Haitian victim who had been a resident of the NATFATIP shelter since and continued to fund her vocational training.
However, the government did not give any information on efforts to help her safely transition to long-term independence outside the shelter. One Jamaican victim repatriated from Antigua received shelter, medical care, and psychological services. Two victims repatriated from The Bahamas returned to their homes and did not receive protective care.
The government reported repatriating one victim to China. The government encouraged victims to participate in the judicial process through the availability of an optional court orientation, as well as the capability to testify through video, but the government did not indicate to what extent victims utilized these services. Victims were often unwilling to participate in trials due to fear of retribution, and the government did not allocate adequate courtrooms or resources to provide victims with sustained support during legal processes.
Authorities did not always employ victim-centered procedures, which further disincentivized victims from reporting cases or participating in trials, including temporarily holding victims in police stations, subjecting victims to drawn-out court processes over several years, and re-traumatizing victims through continued contact with their traffickers.
Jamaican law protected trafficking victims from prosecution for immigration or prostitution-related offenses traffickers compelled them to commit, but it did not provide immunity for other unlawful acts traffickers might have compelled victims to commit. Ineffective screening of vulnerable populations for indicators of trafficking may have resulted in authorities penalizing some victims. The government maintained efforts to prevent trafficking.
The government has a current national action plan valid throughapproved during the reporting period. There was still a need for increased cooperation and synthesis, as well as increased resource allocation, among ministries, agencies, and departments responsible for anti-trafficking efforts. The government continued to maintain a database to store information on traffickers and victims, however, many agencies were not able to access this information. Throughout the year, the government continued to conduct a wide variety of training and public awareness activities to community leaders and vulnerable populations through in-person trainings, as well as television and radio campaigns.
Several different government entities received specific training, including members of the Coast Guard, the public prosecution office, the human trafficking task force, as well as government leaders and diplomats beginning overseas service.
The labor ministry continued to provide training on human trafficking to workers participating in overseas employment programs. The government did not report any investigations, prosecutions, or convictions of foreign tourists for the purchase of commercial sex acts from child trafficking victims. The government did not make efforts to reduce the demand for commercial sex acts. The government, in cooperation with foreign authorities, monitored foreign-registered sex offenders attempting to travel to Jamaica and prevented their entry into the country.
As reported over the past five years, human traffickers exploit domestic and foreign victims in Jamaica, and traffickers exploit victims from Jamaica abroad. Sex trafficking of Jamaican women and children, including boys, reportedly occurs on streets and in nightclubs, bars, massage parlors, hotels, and private homes, including in resort towns.
Traffickers increasingly use social media platforms and false job offers to recruit victims. Traffickers subject children and adults to forced begging and women and children to domestic servitude. Girls, sometimes coerced by family members, are subjected to sex trafficking by men who provide monetary or material payment to the girls or their families in exchange for sex acts; local observers report this form of child sex trafficking may be widespread in some communities. Children from rural Jamaica, and possibly from other Caribbean countries, who are sent to live with more affluent family members or friends sometimes become exploited in forced labor in private households, markets, or shops.
Reports indicate that traffickers are often women who recruit girls to exploit in sex trafficking. Gang members may exploit children in forced begging or in forced criminal activity as lookouts, armed gunmen, or couriers of weapons and drugs; there were reports that criminal organizations exploited children in forced criminal activity in lotto-scamming.
Many children are reported missing in Jamaica; traffickers exploit some of these children in forced labor or sex trafficking. Traffickers have exploited Jamaican citizens in sex trafficking and forced labor abroad, including in other Caribbean countries, Canada, the United States, and the UK. Traffickers exploit foreign nationals, including from South and East Asia, in forced labor in Jamaica and aboard foreign-flagged fishing vessels operating in Jamaican waters. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites. Share Share this on:.
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