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U.S. Embassy, Government partners to host Belize’s 1st Human Trafficking Academy

Posted: Tuesday, February 21, 2023. 8:44 am CST.

By Zoila Palma Gonzalez: On February 20, 2023, U.S. Ambassador to Belize, Michelle Kwan joined Minister of Human Development, Families and Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs Dolores Balderamos Garcia, Chief Magistrate Sharon Fraser, and Human Trafficking Institute (HTI) CEO Victor Boutros to offer remarks at the start of Belize’s first Human Trafficking Academy in Placencia.

The Human Trafficking Academy is a weeklong conference hosted by The Human Trafficking Institute (HTI) and the Pan American Development Foundation (PADF), in partnership with the U.S. Embassy’s International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs Unit and supported by the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Council (A-TIP).

The conference brings together personnel from across Belize’s justice sector, including representatives from the A-TIP police unit, prosecutors, social workers, immigration officials, judges, and magistrates, along with a wide variety of Belizean and international stakeholders on anti-human trafficking best practices.

U.S. and Belizean experts will share insights and guidance on topics including the tools and techniques used in trafficking in persons (TIP) investigations, resources and concepts to improve the processing of TIP cases within the justice system, and an interactive exercise moving through the initial TIP investigation based on reporting all the way through sentencing.

The A-TIP Council coordinates the efforts of the Government of Belize to prevent and combat trafficking in persons and to provide support and protection to victims and operates from a multi sectoral approach.

The A-TIP Council is comprised of representatives from Ministry of Human Development, Families and Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs (Department of Human Services), Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Attorney General’s Ministry, Immigration Department, Office of Public Prosecutions, Police Department, Labor Department, Customs Department, Health Department, Belize Tourism Board (BTB), the National Committee for Families and Children (NCFC), the National Organization for the Prevention of Child abuse and Neglect (NOPCAN), and the Youth Enhancement Services (YES).

This Conference is made possible as part of an ongoing partnership between the United States and Belize to combat human trafficking.

 

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