Saint Lucia is among countries that are included in a new CARIFORUM study on Human Trafficking.
According to a report in CARICOM Today, the study is expected to provide a greater understanding of the problem within and across borders.
Canadian firm, Dunn, Pierre, Barnett and Company, Canada Limited, has been engaged by CARIFORUM to conduct the comprehensive study, CARICOM Today stated.
In addition to Saint Lucia, the other countries involved include Antigua and Barbuda, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Dominican Republic Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago.
The study began on 19 July 2019 and will inform the methods that will be used to design interventions which are evidence-based and consistent with best practices in anti-trafficking including, but not limited to prevention, protection and prosecution.
Saint Lucia received mixed review in the 2019 Trafficking in Persons report produced by the United States State Department.
“The Government of St. Lucia does not fully meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking but is making significant efforts to do so,” the report stated.
It observed that the government demonstrated overall increasing efforts compared to the previous reporting period; therefore Saint Lucia remained on Tier 2.
The CARIFORUM Human Trafficking study that includes this country, is expected to provide useful information on, types, patterns and routes of trafficking; profiles of trafficked persons, and vulnerability factors for trafficking; border and law enforcement issues and information about the traffickers; and anti-trafficking efforts currently being undertaken.
The study will also examine anti-trafficking efforts of international organisations and civil society within the region.
“The research team is expected to meet with critical stakeholders including representatives of Ministries of National Security, Legal and Attorneys General, the Police, prisons and other public sector agencies. Individuals from vulnerable communities, victims and proprietors will also form part of the study,” according to CARICOM Today.
The Caribbean Forum (CARIFORUM) is a subgroup of the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States and serves as a base for economic dialogue with the European Union.
It was established in 1992. Its membership comprises the 15 Caribbean Community (CARICOM) states, along with the Dominican Republic