UNDP plugs US$75,000 into fighting TIP
The Human Services and Social Security Ministry and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) on Thursday signed the project document for the initiation of a US$75,000 programme aimed at tackling human trafficking in Guyana.
The Human Services Minister Jenifer Webster, who was among the signatories, said the initiation of the project which seeks to offer assistance and guidance to “victims of and families affected by human trafficking” will take the fight against the inhumane act to another level as she expressed gratitude to UNDP for funding the project.
“This intervention here by the United Nations Development Programme to… support the ministry’s endeavour in the fight against trafficking in persons is indeed… commendable.”
At the time the minister was addressing officials from the home affairs and human services and social security ministries as well as members of the Guyana Women Miners Association, among others who were present at the simple signing ceremony which took centre stage at UNDP Head Office, Brickdam, Georgetown.
Minister Webster further added that the project will not only equip victims and their families with the requisite knowledge, skill, material and financial support needed to be reintegrated into society, but will also aid in the provision of conducive environments among other aspects of development, in accordance with the laws of Guyana.
“We also need to take into account a person’s status, persons who are victims of trafficking are affected by that crime and we have a right to provide safe conditions and accommodations, we have to provide psychological support to those victims, medical assistance, legal assistance, education and training opportunities.”
Additionally, major emphasis will be placed on educating victims, their families and the rest of Guyana on human trafficking and the importance of rooting out this aspect of corruption from society.
“Coming out of this particular cooperation agreement, we are aiming to strengthen public participation, trust and confidents with our stakeholders and we hope to promote greater awareness in the area of human trafficking.”
Meanwhile, United Nations Resident Coordinator Khadija Musa in her address noted that the UNDP is pleased to offer support to the government of Guyana in this regard.
“Trafficking in persons is a major concern for all stakeholders not only in Guyana, but also around the world. Young women, particularly from hinterland and vulnerable coastal communities are most affected as we all know.” She added that the project will be implemented in collaboration with stakeholders such as mining companies and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to offer awareness and assistance to the vulnerable.
“It will focus on public awareness particularly in communities predisposed to incidences of trafficking, training of focal points in six administrative regions, victim support, updating the directory of focal points in the administration region.”
Reflecting on the most recent data provided on Guyana with respect to human trafficking, Musa said that the United Nations Refugee Agency on June 11, 2011, noted that Guyana was the source and destination for men, women and children subjected to sex trafficking, force labour. The UN resident coordinator, however, noted that the government of Guyana report also indicated that the government has remained committed to the elimination of human trafficking.
“The report also states that the government of Guyana is making significant efforts to comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking, and there have been efforts on the part of officials including mining officers to rescue potential victims.” Musa signed the project document on behalf of the UNDP along with Webster. Both parties have pledged to work closely in reducing the instances of human trafficking in Guyana.