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Police ranks on Tuesday participated in a one-day anti-Trafficking in Persons (TIP) workshop to better equip them with the skills to identify victims of this crime.
The session was held at the GPF’s Officers’ Training Centre at Eve Leary, Georgetown, specifically for traffic ranks and patrol officers. It was undertaken by the Ministry of Human Services and Social Security’s Counter-TIP (C-TIP) Unit.
Coordinator of the TIP Unit, Ms. Tanisha Williams-Corbin said the Ministry recognised the need to provide specialised training to these personnel to help them to faster detect and intercept human trafficking as most victims are transported along the roadways.
She added the decision was buttressed by the testimony of a TIP survivor who in 2019, said that while being trafficked, she had attempted to attract the attention of traffic police during a traffic stop.
“Trafficking in persons is modern-day slavery and it is a grave violation of human rights… You are vital and important since you are the frontline persons who are going to come into contact with the victims almost immediately. You are the ones to recognise it and hopefully stop it before the exploitation happen so those victims who are suffering under inhuman conditions will be rescued and get the necessary assistance to be fully rehabilitated,” Ms. Williams-Corbin told the attendees.
The ministry has already taken this training to Regions Two, Three, Four, Five, Six and Ten with plans to extend it to the remaining regions this year, the Department of Public Information reported. Additionally, the Ministry plans to provide psychological first aid training to traffic ranks and others to help them respond to victims of various crimes.
GPF’s Superintendent Shivpersaud Bacchus thanked the Ministry and other stakeholders for the session, adding that the Force would continue to welcome such interventions to help mitigate these crimes. He added that the Force is also taking steps to advance its members’ academic career through a collaboration that will cater to every staff.
“We are ensuring that we are building capacity for sustainable development within the Guyana Police Force and its structures also,” he said.
Services the Ministry of Human Services and Social Security offer to survivors of trafficking
Guyana retained its Tier 1 ranking in the June 2020 TIP Report of the United States Department of State. It was the fourth consecutive year that Guyana received a Tier 1 ranking. The Ministry identified and assisted 225 victims of human trafficking last year.