New Spanish hotline launched
- Use it to combat TIP, Minister Vindhya Persaud urges
THE 592STOP (Stop the Trafficking in Persons) campaign was launched on Friday by Minister of Human Services and Social Security, Dr. Vindhya Persaud during her outreach to Bartica, Region Seven (Cuyuni/Mazaruni).
In doing so, Minister Persaud used the opportunity to emphasize Government’s zero tolerance approach to TIP. The launch signaled the beginning of a month of activities that will culminate in World Day against Trafficking Persons on July 30.
Those who attended listened in rapt attention as Minister Persaud outlined some of the steps that the Ministry has taken and will take to curb trafficking in persons which she likened to modern day slavery.
She encouraged persons to use the TIP hotlines to report all cases of trafficking as she launched the new 24 hour Spanish hotline which will allow Spanish/ Portuguese speaking persons to report trafficking. It complements the existing hotline that caters for English speaking persons.
Dr. Vindhya Persaud exhorted persons to recognize trafficking in all its forms and outlined some of the activities that would be happening this month including, “Through My Lens” where persons can hear from survivors about the devastating impact of trafficking on their lives.
She re-iterated that the messages on the T-shirts worn specially for the occasion must be passed on to “different people, different languages, but same message – Stop the trafficking in persons.”
Minister Persaud noted that Guyana has retained its Tier 1 status due to its fulfillment of minimum standards to curb TIP as announced by the US state Department and lauded the efforts of her C-TIP department. She encouraged survivors to report and work with law enforcement agencies to have more convictions of traffickers.
Head of the C-TIP Unit of the Ministry Tanisha Williams-Corbin gave an overview of the work of the unit and shared information on the number of reported cases, convictions and how persons can access help and support from the unit.
She also mentioned that there will be an awareness drive-by activity in Region Four (Demerara/Mahaica) and more training of stakeholder groups. So far, training has been done by the C-Tip Unit with the Joint Forces, Regions, Non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and Civil Society Organizations (CSOs); along with public awareness through engagement in public spaces in various regions.
After the presentations, all those in attendance were asked to open the umbrellas or wear hats that bore the message “Stop the Trafficking of Persons” as part of the launch.
The event was also attended by the Regional and Vice Chairs of Bartica, Mayor Gifford Marshall and his deputy. Marshall made brief remarks and committed to collaborating in the fight against TIP. The short program was chaired by the REO Mr. Erwin Warde and Vote of thanks was given by Narissa Rahaman.
Persons who attended the event were able to access many of the services offered by the ministry. They had an opportunity to interact with Minister Persaud, get vaccinated, and had free eye tests and blood sugar and pressure checks.
The Spotlight Initiative Awareness Session and training of Local Board of Guardians were also done on the visit.
Meanwhile, members of the public are encouraged to report all suspicious TIP activities to the Ministry’s TIP hotline numbers: 227-4083, 623-5030 or 624-0079 (Spanish hotline). Persons can also visit the TIP Guyana Facebook page. (Ministry of Human Services and Social Security press release)