Posted: Wednesday, July 3, 2019. 2:49 pm CST.
By BBN Staff: Keith Gilges, Chargé d’ Affaires at the United States Embassy in Belmopan, applauded Belize this week for going up in ranking on the US State Department’s Trafficking in Persons (TIP) report but said that more work needs to be done to keep advancing.
Gilges said that moving from the worst ranking on the list (Tier 3) to Tier 2 Watch is a testament to the work that Belize’s government and civil society agencies have been doing to combat human trafficking.
Gilges said that activities such as the Ministry of Human Development’s upgrades to victim screening and victim services, as well as the Government of Belize’s (GOB’s) announcement of its national action plan to combat human trafficking were some of the considerations made when upgrading the country’s standing.
“But this isn’t the end by any means and what they are acknowledging is that momentum is building but it needs to continue to build. Tier 2 Watch list is better than tier 3, but it’s not as good as Tier 2 or tier 1 and that’s what we want to continue to see,” Gilges said.
He stressed that the upgrade is not a sign that GOB can continue to do the same things, but that it needs to build on what has worked. He noted that the US will continue to partner with Belize to assist the initiatives geared towards combatting human trafficking.
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