Traffic ranks get training to identify cases of Trafficking in Persons
The Ministry of Human Services and Social Security, Counter Trafficking in Persons Unit (C-TIPU), on Tuesday held a training workshop to help traffic ranks identify cases of trafficking in persons.
“You will be on the road wherever you’re stationed and you will come into contact with potential victims of trafficking and at the end of this training course, you’ll be able to identify them and refer them to us.
“So, we’re all in this fight to combat human trafficking,” said Denise Ralph, Senior Probation and Social Services Officer, at the opening of the workshop at the Police Force’s Training Centre in Georgetown.
She encouraged the officers to be open to participation as they are there to gain the necessary knowledge on the issue at hand.
The Coordinator of the C-TIPU, Tanisha Williams-Corbin, revealed that the Ministry in 2020 recorded 225 victims of human trafficking. She explained that the Ministry and Ministerial Task Force have over the years developed and implemented various initiatives to respond to the issue.
“It may sound like a small number, but when you take into consideration Guyana’s population, you can understand why it’s very concerning that in a small country like Guyana, we identify 225 suspected victims of human trafficking. That is just for one year and those are just the reported ones, what about those that went unreported?”
She went on to explain that the workshop was one of many initiatives by the Ministry and Ministerial Task Force to attack and respond to the issue.
“This training course was developed back in 2019 when we realised the need to have a specialized training for traffic ranks. Prior to 2019, you were a part of just the broader-the general anti-trafficking-training for members of the Guyana Police Force, and I can tell you we saw the need for this because we recognised that the majority of victims who were seen at the time, they were being transported on our roadways,” she said.
Corbin also expressed her confidence that the ranks will get through the training as they have been doing it since 2019 and have been seeing results.
Force Training Officer, Superintendent Shivpersaud Bacchus, explained that the programme will be continuous as members of the Police Force are considered frontline workers and first responders.
The workshop is set to include presentations from various officials and representatives from the Guyana Police Force TIP Unit, Chambers of the Directors of Public Prosecution, the Ministerial Task Force and the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission.
Law enforcement agencies, media houses and support staff were reminded of their responsibility to ensure that the identity of survivors of social crimes remain protected.