Saint Lucia strengthens capacity to detect human trafficking cases
Wednesday, October 11, 2017
by Department of Home Affairs

The Government of Saint Lucia with support from the ACP-EU Migration Action is gearing up to strengthen its fight against the global scourge of Trafficking in Persons (TIP). The ACP-EU Migration Action is a program implemented by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and funded by the European Union. The program provides technical assistance on migration to African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Groups of States.

Trafficking in Persons also referred to as Trafficking in Human Beings (THB) is punishable by law in Saint Lucia under the Counter – Trafficking Act 2013 Revised Edition. According to Section 4 of the Act, the object of the Act “is to prescribe measures to prevent and combat trafficking in persons with particular regard to victims who are women and children, by (a) protecting and assisting victims of trafficking, having due regard to their human rights; (b) facilitating the efficient investigation of cases of trafficking in persons; (c) facilitating the just and effective punishment of individuals and organizations involved in trafficking in persons; (d) promoting cooperation between Saint Lucia and other States in order to prevent and suppress trafficking in persons and to punish offenders."

During the week of September 25 - 29, the Regional Coordinator for the Caribbean of the ACP-EU Migration Action and a Migrant Expert visited Saint Lucia to meet with key governmental and non-governmental stakeholders to assess the best way forward for technical assistance activities on TIP that will be implemented this year. This technical assistance aims to deliver the following: training for law enforcement officials on Trafficking in Persons, an operational database to manage and process Trafficking in Persons cases, and a full-scale national campaign to raise awareness about Trafficking in Persons.

This technical assistance will equally support a series of training workshops with a focus on identification, referral and protection of Victims of Trafficking (VOT) by an IOM Development Fund project.

The training workshops will be complementary to technical assistance activities

under the ACP-EU Migration Action, and directed at key front-line officials, diplomatic personnel, health providers and civil society stakeholders.

The IOM Development Fund (IDF) project also includes the identification and training of a designated Capacity-Building Focal Point within the Department of Home Affairs and National Security.  The project hopes to achieve widespread capacity building among key stakeholders by enabling the Government to continue training activities beyond the lifetime of the project.

By accomplishing the above, the ACP-EU Migration and IDF Project aims to strengthen Saint Lucia’s capacity to effectively detect cases of Trafficking in Persons, investigate and prosecute traffickers, foster partnerships between governmental and non-governmental agencies to coordinate efforts; assist victims of trafficking and to sensitize the Saint Lucian public about Trafficking in Persons.

The Government of Saint Lucia through the Department of Home Affairs and National Security, and the IOM is committed to improving Saint Lucia’s capacity and response to effectively combat Trafficking in Persons.