Monday 30th July, 2018 –The Trafficking in Persons Prevention Committee (TIPPC) of Antigua and Barbuda, the associated Task Forces and Secretariat have joined other countries in recognizing today, July 30th as the World Day Against Trafficking in Persons.
A statement from the Ministry of Public Safety and Labour outlined that Antigua and Barbuda joins the rest of the world in recognising the need to protect children and young people against human trafficking. While the country has just attained the new rank of Tier 2in the Trafficking in Persons Report 2018, there is still much work to be done.
Excerpts from a statement by Executive Director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC)Yury Fedotov said “Humanitarian crises and armed conflict have left children and young people at greater risk of being trafficked. The perils are compounded further still when children and young people are on the move, often separated from their families.” He also noted with concern the misuse of the internet and new technologies by human traffickers to broaden their reach and to exploit and abuse young people.
According to the UNODC a “major step forward in tackling trafficking in children and young people is the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, under the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime”. It is said that this international instrument “represents the best and most effective means to protect children and young people by ending impunity for traffickers, and ensuring that criminal justice responses safeguard the interests of children at every stage”.
Antigua and Barbuda is reaffirming its commitment to vigorously tackle human trafficking as we work to safeguard residents and visitors, especially our children and young people. Over the past three years the TIPPC through the Education Task Force has worked tirelessly to raise awareness through education and awareness campaigns across the island including many schools.
Antigua and Barbuda will observe the annual awareness week of activities focused on educating the public about human trafficking. This year the week will run from the 23rd to 29thSeptember, 2018 and will include a church service, school visits, media blitz and a walk through the streets of St. Johns. Persons are invited to participate in all of these activities as we work together as a nation to rid the country of the scourge of human trafficking.