Antigua: Sex trafficking a concern

Antigua Observer:-There are no statistics to back up her claims, but the country’s Chief Immigration Officer Annette Mark believes the sex trafficking problem in Antigua & Barbuda is more prevalent than perceived.

In fact, Mark said nightclubs and strip clubs here are to be blamed for the unreported number of sex workers coming into Antigua.

“We are aware that there are a number of clubs in Antigua that brings these women in,” Mark said during a discussion to highlight Human Trafficking Week.

She said, however, “what is unfortunate

is that the women who come seem to be willing participants, so it’s difficult to investigate and determine that they are victims of trafficking”.

According to Mark, while women look at sex trafficking as a means of income, it is part of a slave trade.

“The public should be aware that human trafficking affects mainly women and children and we see women being sex slaves,” she added.

She said the authorities are finding it very difficult to clamp down on sex traffickers.

“What we do is interview and look for certain signs and signals, and once those red flags are raised, we take action about whether we want to let them in or not.”

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