Saint Lucians Put On Human Trafficking Alert Amidst COVID-19 Pandemic

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Saint Lucians have been put on human trafficking alert, with a warning that the COVID-19 pandemic may increase the crime globally.

According to a statement from the Department of Home Affairs and National Security, this countrya is no exception to the crisis that confronts the world currently and may attract the perpetrators of the gruesome crime of sexual and labour exploitation.

The statement observed that organizations such as the US State Department in its 2020 Report on Human Trafficking, raised concerns about the impact of the COVID-19  pandemic on human rights and on vulnerable populations.

“Global trends have shown that dramatic increases in job losses and reductions in income, especially for tourism sector workers, and many other  low wage employees  could mean that significant numbers of people who were already vulnerable, find themselves in even more precarious circumstances,” it was observed.

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In the midst of the ongoing pandemic, Minister for Home Affairs and National Security Senator Hermangild Francis has reminded Saint Lucians to be vigilant, particularly when exploring new prospects overseas.

In as much as things are difficult for many of us and we definitely need to have a job and income for survival, let us do our best to remain safe from exploitation and to ensure that no one becomes a victim of human trafficking.  Now is not the time to go into any situation blindly because there is more risk involved,” Francis, a former Deputy Police Commissioner, was quoted as saying.

In regard to Trafficking In Persons (TIP) traffickers are said to be adjusting their business models to the ‘new normal’ created by the pandemic, especially through the abuse of modern communications technologies, according to the Department of Home Affairs and National Security statement.

It noted that  in Saint Lucia, the hotline for  reporting any suspected cases of Trafficking In Persons is 847.

The authorities are encouraging the public to use the hotline number to report any suspected cases of human trafficking.

Headline photo courtesy  Joshua Rawson-Harris

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Editorial Staff
Editorial Staff
Our Editorial Staff at St. Lucia Times is a team publishing news and other articles to over 200,000 regular monthly readers in Saint Lucia and in over 150 other countries worldwide.

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