Posted: Monday, February 1, 2021. 3:26 pm CST.
By Aaron Humes: Lawmakers from Belize, Barbados, Guyana, Jamaica, St Vincent, and the Grenadines, the British Virgin Islands, and the United Kingdom are meeting virtually this week for a two-day workshop on the issue of trafficking in persons, forced labor, and contemporary forms of exploitation organized by the UK Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA UK)
Starting on Tuesday, the program will explore topics such as child exploitation, debt bondage, and the role of the hospitality sector. There will also be opportunities for elected representatives to discuss their role in tackling these issues, through debates in parliament, strengthening legislation, providing scrutiny, and educating constituents.
The group is expected to increase awareness and build networks in response to the global challenge of human trafficking and forced labor.
The CPA notes that trafficked persons are either forced, coerced, or defrauded into engaging in exploitative activities for the financial gain of their masters, which according to the International Organization for Migration (IOM) is quickly becoming very profitable.
In 2018, Interpol carried out a coordinated operation, which rescued victims of trafficking and forced labor in the Caribbean and Latin America. More than 350 men, women, and children were found in exploitative circumstances, working in night clubs, factories, markets, farms, and mines.
CPA UK Chief Executive, Jon Davies, explained: “CPA UK’s work with other Commonwealth parliamentarians on addressing human trafficking and related issues began in 2016 and has seen great success in raising awareness, building networks, and championing legislative change. This workshop, however, marks our first focused engagement with the Caribbean region on this issue. I look forward to seeing where this partnership will lead as we work together to tackle one of the worst human rights abuses facing the world today.”
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