Saint Lucia has recently participated in two high- level meetings which saw the renewed commitment of member states to the continued fight against Human Trafficking despite the challenges triggered by the COVID-19 Pandemic.
On Thursday, May 6, 2021 the Commonwealth of the Bahamas National Security Ministry hosted the first annual regional Trafficking In Persons Committee Meeting (TIPCOM). The forum was held under the theme “A regional discussion on successes and challenges in anti-trafficking activities” and each participating country delivered a ten-minute presentation on this theme.
Saint Lucia was represented by officers from the Department of Home Affairs and National Security and the Department of External Affairs.
Going forward the regional Trafficking In Persons Committee (TIPCOM) shall endeavor to make use of the best available methods to discuss areas of mutual concern such as contemporary legislation; training and awareness campaigns; victim protection and recovery services; successful prosecution of human traffickers and partnership building between TIP committees.
The Turks and Caicos, Antigua and Barbuda, Saint Lucia; St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Haiti, and Antigua and Barbuda are among the territories that form the new trafficking in persons regional entity.
Meantime, Saint Lucia also participated in the two day Organization of American States (OAS) Sixth Meeting of National Authorities on Trafficking in Persons, held on May 13 and 14, 2021. The virtual meeting was hosted by Argentina. This year’s theme “Challenges in the fight against trafficking in times of pandemic” brought into sharp focus the global situation of victims of trafficking as well reaffirmation to state parties of the duty of care and protection that must be upheld particularly in respect of women and children where the combatting human trafficking is concerned.
The Organization of American States (OAS) Sixth Meeting of National Authorities on Trafficking in Persons also emphasized that trafficking in persons must be addressed from a standpoint of shared responsibility among countries of origin, transit and destination. The member states, including Saint Lucia recommitted to working together to strengthen legal and administrative cooperation and to jointly condemn the crime of Trafficking In Persons.