By Aaron Humes: Representatives of key ministries will begin to collaborate more frequently on the issues of migration, labour exploitation, and trafficking in persons following a meeting on Tuesday.
The Government has announced that it will proceed with a national migration policy “in tandem with anti-trafficking efforts thus fulfilling the government’s mandate of combatting all forms of exploitation.”
The Anti-Trafficking in Persons Council (ATIPS) will lead educational campaigns on labour exploitation to build awareness and step up inspection and operations to identify and respond to labour violations and possible trafficking in persons.
Among the topics discussed were migrant labour for agroindustry in Belize and the need to strengthen collaboration amongst ministries and departments in preventing and combating labour exploitation and trafficking in persons. The recent migrant incident of March 19 and 20 focused the group on striking a balance between the need for migrant labour, the demands of the industries and the protection of individuals, especially children, from child labour and other forms of exploitation.
Participants included the ministries of Immigration, Human Development, Home Affairs, Labour, Tourism, and Agriculture along with the Director of Public Prosecutions.