Police rescue 96 human trafficking victims over 14-year period

Fitz Bailey Jamaica
Deputy Commissioner of Police Fitz Bailey.

The police have reportedly rescued 96 human trafficking victims since the establishment of the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Unit in 2005.

The disclosure was made by Fitz Bailey, the deputy commissioner of police in charge of crime. He said 36 people have been charged with human trafficking and related offences.

“We have secured several convictions through the courts and we continue to conduct training and workshops locally and internationally,” Bailey said.

Between 2010 and 2018, more than 750 anti-trafficking operations were conducted, resulting in 82 victims being rescued, 30 suspected traffickers arrested, and the dismantling of three prostitution rings.

Head of the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Vice Squad, Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Carl Berry said that people have been charged and convicted of offences directly related to human trafficking such as rape, forced labour, forced begging, child trafficking and sex trafficking.

The 96 people, who have been rescued, include children from Honduras, males from Italy, a female from China as well as locals. Human trafficking is 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.

Victims can be found world over in massage parlours, escort services, bars and strip clubs, resort areas, hotels and nightclubs, some homes, hair and nail salons; and engaged in agricultural work, drug sales and cultivation, restaurants, commercial sex areas, pornography, forced begging situations, among others.