Human trafficking now one of Jamaica’s most lucrative crimes

National Security Minister Dr. Horace Chang interacts with students from Dunoon Technical and St. Hilda’s High schools at the launch of the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Clubs in Schools initiative on Thursday (Oct 3).

National Security Minister Dr Horace Chang says human trafficking has become a major activity in the criminal underworld.

Human trafficking is defined as the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of persons by improper means (such as force, abduction, fraud, or coercion) for an improper purpose, including forced labour or sexual exploitation.

He said statistics indicate that it is the third most lucrative crime behind drugs and trafficking in firearms.

“Trafficking of our young adults is a lucrative business. It is growing, and as we get on top of dealing with the drugs and firearms trades… it means the criminal organisations [are] losing money and they will look to other areas, and clearly one of those areas is human trafficking,” he said.

Head of the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Vice Squad, Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Carl Berry (left), with students from Port Antonio High School.

Dr Chang was addressing the official launch of the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Clubs in Schools initiative on Thursday (Oct3) at the Dunoon Technical High School in Kingston. He said that human trafficking is described as a modern-day form of slavery.

Meanwhile, the Minister commended the 11 institutions across the island that have already joined the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Clubs. Among them are Port Antonio High, Portand; Garvey Maceo High, Clarendon; St. Hilda’s High, St. Ann; Christiana High, Manchester; Calabar High, St. Andrew; and Dunoon Technical High. Dr Chang said that the initiative aims to sensitise young adults about human trafficking in order to prevent them from becoming victims.