Increasing efforts by the Police over the last nine years to stem human trafficking have led to the arrest of 30 suspected traffickers.
Five of the 30 have been convicted. Their efforts have also led to the demolition of a number of buildings where victims were being subjected to sexual exploitation or forced labour.
A press conference today by the National Task Force Against Trafficking in Persons at the Ministry of Justice revealed several encouraging statistics as the Police move further to clamp down on the illegal practice.
In 2017, twelve victims; six females and six males were rescued from human trafficking.
This year, the Police have so far rescued four victims. They’re among 82 victims rescued between 2010 and this year.
Head of the Jamaica Constabulary Force’s Anti-Trafficking in Persons Unit, Deputy Superintendent Carl Berry, says not all victims are Jamaican. He says several victims are from China and Burma.
The Police have not only been rescuing victims but they’ve also been demolishing the buildings which housed the illegal operations.
DSP Berry says two more buildings are set to be demolished.
Five alleged traffickers have been charged. But over the last nine years, 30 suspected traffickers have been arrested.
Of that number, five have been convicted. They were convicted between 2015 and this year. Another 18 are now before the courts.
In the most recent conviction in February, a woman, Oshin Morgan, pleaded guilty to human trafficking.
Meanwhile, DSP Berry is crediting one of its operations for successfully cracking down on human trafficking.
Jamaica retained its Tier Two ranking in the 2018 Human Trafficking Report published by the US State Department.
This categorizes Jamaica as a source and destination country for adults and children subjected to human trafficking and forced labour.
The US State Department in its report said trafficking of Jamaican women and children reportedly occurs on streets and in nightclubs, bars, massage parlours and private homes, including in resort towns.