225 TIP cases recorded in 2020

– Police Officers receive training to detect, deal with problem

The Human Services and Social Security Ministry on Tuesday reported that a total of 225 cases of human trafficking were recorded in 2020.
It was revealed at a workshop earlier in the week aimed at educating traffic ranks to enable them to identify cases of Trafficking In Persons (TIP). The one-day training session was held at the Officers’ Training Centre, Camp Road, Georgetown.

The ranks who attended the TIP training

Senior Probation and Social Services Officer Denise Ralph noted that after the training, the ranks were expected to identify TIP cases and refer them to the relevant authorities, including the Human Services and Social Protection Ministry.
“These very skills will be able to help you combat human trafficking, because we know that human trafficking is a heinous crime. We all need to get on board because we not only work in isolation, but we work in collaboration with the Ministerial Task Force and Non-Governmental Organisations…,” she related.
Meanwhile, Counter-Trafficking in Persons Unit (C-TIPU) Coordinator Tanisha Williams-Corbin related that the 225 cases of TIP that were recorded in 2020 were high, taking into account Guyana’s population.
“It may sound like a small number, but when you take into consideration Guyana’s population, you can understand why it’s very concerning that in a small country like Guyana, we identify 225 suspected victims of human trafficking. That is just for one year and those are just the reported ones, what about those that went unreported?”
She added that the Ministry and Ministerial Task Force have, over the years, been working assiduously to combat human trafficking, and this training was one of their many initiatives.
Williams-Corbin told the ranks that the training course was developed back in 2019 – when the Ministry realised the need to have specialised training for traffic ranks.
“We saw the need for this ,because we recognised that majority of the victims who were seen at the time, were transported on our roadways. What really took us to the drawing board…is that we actually had a victim of trafficking who was rescued. She said that daily she would traverse over the Harbour Bridge….one day the vehicle was stopped by traffic ranks and she tried to get the attention of the officer but he was not picking up what she was saying,” the C-TIPU Coordinator said.
Meanwhile, GPF Training Officer, Superintendent Shivpersaud Bacchus explained the programme would be a continuous one ,since members of the Police Force were considered frontline workers and first responders.