Social Humanitarian and Cultural Committee
The Republic of Trinidad and Tobago
Forest Hills Eastern High School
Worldwide, human trafficking is a prevalent issue that is defined as the “recruitment, transportation, transfer, harboring, or receipt of persons by improper means”. Approximately, there are 40.3 million human trafficking victims worldwide according to the International Labor Organization. The Global Report on Trafficking in Persons launched by the United Nations reported that the most common form of human trafficking is for sexual exploitation. According to Alana Wheeler, the head of the Counter Trafficking Unit (CTU), 85% of human trafficking cases in Trinidad and Tobago have been related to sex slaves. As one of the wealthiest countries in the Caribbean, the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago is a popular spot for tourists and a hub of travel, and is therefore susceptible to being a popular center of activity and source for the transportation of sex slaves and forced labor slaves. Women and girls from the surrounding regions of the Dominican Republic, Columbia, and especially neighboring Venezuela have been known to be forced into sex slavery due to their attempts to flee worsening circumstances in their home lands.
Acknowledging the severity of the human trafficking situation, Trinidad and Tobago have also made advances in combating the evil that is human trafficking. In a report issued in 2016, the National Security Ministry in 2016 stated that Trinidad and Tobago were ranked within the Tier 2 Watch List status, defined by the country’s shortcomings to comply with the Trafficking Victims Protection Act, due to its failure to take steps towards improvement. After this report was issued, Trinidad and Tobago extended their efforts to put an end to modern day slavery by means of working harder to identify trafficking victims (specifically women and children), developing human trafficking prosecution procedures and spending up to $198,000 on victim protection programs by the CTU. The CTU also implemented educational advances striving to promote awareness among officials, immigrants, and in educational facilities. In 2017, Trinidad and Tobago were promoted to Tier 2 status: the second highest ranking status in which the country has made significant and impressive improvements in meeting the standards of the TVPA.
The Republic of Trinidad and Tobago urges the United Nations to extend help to the poorer countries in the Caribbean, who have less resources and are more susceptible to involvement in human trafficking rings. We implore the UN to assist these countries by implementing consultation and aid services, and to issue permits to foreign citizens who have been apprehended (similar to successful programs recently instituted in Trinidad and Tobago). The Republic of Trinidad and Tobago also urges the United Nations to implement educational and training programs among government officials in order to combat corruption of officials and misinformation that hinders anti-sex trafficking advances.
- Isabel Gil