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Jamaica Retains Tier 2 Ranking In 2024 US Trafficking In Persons Report | RJR News - Jamaican News Online
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Jamaica retains Tier 2 ranking in 2024 US Trafficking in Persons Report

By Nakinskie Robinson   
 
For the eighth consecutive year, Jamaica has retained its Tier 2 ranking in the 2024 US State Department Trafficking in Persons Report.
 
The department says the island does not fully meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking, but is making significant efforts to do so.
 
The state department says the government demonstrated increasing efforts overall compared with the previous reporting period last year.
 
These efforts included identifying and assisting significantly more victims, including more adults, males, and foreign victims.
 
The department says the government initiated more investigations and prosecutions of suspected traffickers and made progress in institutionalising training for criminal justice officials and victim service providers.
 
Additionally, it says the government increased funding dedicated to victim services and opened six additional child-friendly spaces for interviewing and providing immediate assistance to child victims.
 
But it did not meet the minimum standards in several key areas.
 
For instance, the department says local authorities prosecuted offenders under other laws with lesser penalties, and offenders received insufficient punishment that did not involve significant terms of imprisonment.
 
The government allocated $11 million to the National Task Force Against Trafficking in Persons.
 
This is a significant reduction from approximately $19 million in the previous reporting period.
 
It also did not approve a draft national policy to combat trafficking, drafted during the previous reporting period.
 
It says the government also failed to endorse a prevalence research study completed during the reporting period, undermining efforts to build knowledge and awareness of the nature and scope of trafficking in Jamaica.
 
Among the state department's recommendations is an increase in efforts to investigate and prosecute traffickers, including officials who are complicit in human trafficking and foreign nationals or Jamaicans who exploit child sex trafficking victims, and seek adequate penalties for convicted traffickers, which should involve significant prison terms.
 
It also recommends that the government fully implement the screening tools and the National Referral Mechanism to increase proactive identification and referral of potential trafficking victims among vulnerable groups and provide consistent training for officials on implementing these tools.
 
Jamaica is one of 96 countries in the ranking, and is now joined by Trinidad and Tobago, which moved into the category after three consecutive years on the Tier 2 Watch List.
 


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