Gov't boasts: T&T maintains ranking in US human trafficking report
The Ministry of National Security says due to its counter human trafficking efforts, Trinidad and Tobago has maintained its Tier 2 ranking in the United States Department of State Trafficking in Persons (TiPs) Report 2019.
Tier 2 countries are those whose governments do not fully meet the Trafficking Victims Protection Act’s minimum standards but are making significant efforts to bring themselves into compliance with those standards. While Tier 1 is the highest ranking, it does not mean that a country has no human trafficking problem or that it is doing enough to address the problem. Rather, a Tier 1 ranking indicates that a government has made efforts to address the problem that meet the TVPA’s minimum standards.
A statement from the Ministry notes that the annual report acknowledges the various measures taken by the Government to improve this country’s counter-trafficking efforts, including in the following areas:
- Increased anti-trafficking training for public officials;
- Initiating investigations against three potentially complicit officials;
- Initiating more prosecutions;
- Establishing a new intelligence task force to improve investigations;
- Establishing a new Memorandum of Understanding between the Government’s Counter Trafficking Unit (CTU) and the Children’s Authority to better protect child victims.
The Ministry says it is cognizant of the recommendations made in the report specific to Trinidad and Tobago with regard to expanding victim screening and victim services, increasing training on trafficking for Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and shelter staff, and further increasing efforts to investigate, prosecute, and convict traffickers, including complicit officials.
It says its Counter Trafficking Unit (CTU) continues to work steadfastly and in collaboration with partnering agencies, NGOs and civil society to increase public awareness on this crime and to reduce incidents of Trafficking in Persons in Trinidad and Tobago. The CTU is also working closely with independent statutory organizations to treat with any incidents of law enforcement complicity in human trafficking matters.
Members of the public who have information on suspected human trafficking activity should contact the Counter Trafficking Unit (CTU) toll-free hotline at 800-4288(4CTU).