St. Vincent and the Grenadines has maintained its Tier 2 ranking in the United States Department of State 2018 Trafficking in Persons Report, for the second consecutive year.
In releasing the report on June 28, Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo said it focuses on effective ways local communities can address human trafficking proactively and how national governments can support and empower them.
SVG was commended very highly for its efforts in combating human trafficking both locally, regionally and internationally over the reporting period. The 2018 edition of the report states “the government demonstrated increasing efforts by investigation of more suspected cases; increasing training to relevant government officials and NGOs; increasing it co-operation with foreign governments to combat trafficking; and improving its public awareness campaigns.
A release from the local Police Force says on June 26, the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Unit placed twenty four sensitization stickers at all of the immigration desks at the Argyle International Airport including arrivals, departures and the domestic travel desk. This move is to bring awareness about the dangers of human trafficking to local and international travellers arriving, departing or transiting through the airport.
The 2018 Trafficking in Persons Report also made several recommendations to the government, including: the need to amend the trafficking law to remove sentencing provisions allowing fines in lieu of imprisonment; the need to increase government funding across all relevant agencies to combat human trafficking; and the need to implement the 2016-2020 National Action Plan.
The report also recommended an increase in investigations of suspected sex and labour trafficking cases; and prosecution and conviction of traffickers.