10 Haitian children found at Skeldon hotel, suspected to have been trafficked
SEE BELOW FULL STATEMENT BY THE GOVERNMENT OF GUYANA
Today at approximately 10:30 hrs, based upon information received, members of the Guyana Police Force visited the Swiss Hotel, Skeldon, Corentyne, Berbice, Region 6 and discovered ten (10) persons claiming to be Haitian juvenile nationals. Five (5) of these persons are females and five (5) are males. They did not possess any passports or any form of identification. When questioned by the Police, one in the group who speaks English, explained that they were brought from Suriname by speedboat and left at the hotel since Monday, 14th June, 2021.
The person who brought them reportedly took away their passports, documents, money and other personal belongings.
It has long been suspected that there is a huge trafficking in persons and human smuggling ring, including children, taking place in the Region and Guyana is being used as a transit point in this racket, which includes Cubans, Nigerians and Haitians, among others. This is the latest manifestation of this nefarious racket at work which seems to be operating on a daily basis.
The Brazilian Government has already expressed concern about the situation. The Surinamese Government has also shared intelligence which suggests that the racket extends to that neighboring Republic. The Government of Guyana has already engaged the Cuban Ambassador to Guyana on this issue. It is believed that these persons, including children, are being trafficked to various parts of the world.
Only last Wednesday, the Police arrested a number of Haitians, Nigerians and Cubans in close vicinity to Lethem, Region 9.
Some of these persons did not have entry stamps in their passports in relation to Guyana. This is taking place when all neighboring borders with Guyana are currently closed. There is a continuous influx of these persons at both Cheddi Jagan International Airport and the Eugine Correira International Airport at Ogle.
In the circumstances, the Government of Guyana feels compelled to inform the relevant international agencies dealing with human trafficking and smuggling of persons, including children. In this regard, we will engage the United Nations Humans Rights Council, the International Organisation for Migration and INTERPOL and requests their urgent intervention and assistance.
The Government of Guyana will also immediately review its immigration protocols and impose such lawful restrictions and conditions that it considers necessary in the circumstances.
17th June, 2021