HUMAN TRAFFICKING CONFERENCE A CALL TO ACTION – Carol Palmer

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Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Justice and Chair of the National Task Force Against Trafficking in Persons (NATFATIP), Carol Palmer (right), shares a moment with Founder of The SunGate Foundation and human trafficking survivor, Shamere McKenzie (left), and Miss Jamaica World 2017, Solange Sinclair, at the NATFATIP International Human Trafficking Conference, which took place at the Meliá Braco Hotel in Trelawny on Wednesday and Thursday of this week. Ms. McKenzie and Ms. Sinclair were sashed as Jamaica’s first Human Trafficking Ambassadors.

Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Justice, Carol Palmer, says that the International Human Trafficking Conference – which ended in Trelawny yesterday – must be seen as a call to action for Jamaica, the Caribbean and countries across the globe.

The two-day event, organised by the National Task Force Against Trafficking in Persons (NATFATIP), got under way on July 25 at the Meliá Braco Hotel.

Mrs. Palmer said that the conference is happening at a time when the Global Slavery Index is estimating that the slavery population is more than 40 million, and victims from at least 27 countries have been found across 137 states.

“No country is spared; no border is safe,” she noted.

She said, further, that global statistics indicate that the human trafficking trade generates profits of approximately $150 billion per annum.

Mrs. Palmer, who is also Chair of the NATFATIP, said countries must develop a framework, similar in importance to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), to coalesce nations around a common set of constructs, principles and commitments to eliminate human trafficking.

“There is a need for robust monitoring and evaluation tools, which are scientifically applied to countries as a fair and objective means of assessing the work and progress in the anti-trafficking effort,” she argued.

GLOBAL CAMPAIGN
The NATFATIP Chair expressed the intention to launch a global campaign against human trafficking that aligns with the United Nations’ Global Plan of Action Against Trafficking in Persons, which was adopted in 2010.

The action plan calls on member countries to eliminate human trafficking by 2030.

It further includes concrete actions to prevent trafficking in persons, protect and assist victims, prosecute related crimes and strengthen partnerships among governments, civil society organisations and the private sector, including the media.

“All of us must get out of our comfort zone and do what we can in our sphere to make this a past activity,” Mrs. Palmer said.

The NATFATIP International Human Trafficking Conference was held under the theme ‘From Victim to Survivor – The Hard Road to Recovery’.

Members of the diplomatic community from the European Union, Canada, the United States of America, Russia, India, Panama and Venezuela attended the event. There were also international presenters from France and Romania.

The opening ceremony included the sashing of the island’s first-ever Human Trafficking Ambassadors, Miss Jamaica World 2017, Solange Sinclair, and Founder of The Sun Gate Foundation and human trafficking survivor, Shamere McKenzie, who also delivered the keynote address.

A moment of silence was observed as well as the symbolic turning on of the Blue Lights to represent solidarity with victims of human trafficking.

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