Ministerial Task Force rejects US TIP report
June 19, 2009 | By knews | Filed Under News
The Ministerial Task Force on Trafficking in Persons (TIP) has said that it firmly rejects the United States State Department’s labelling of Guyana as a “Tier Two Watch List Country”.
The Task Force said that it remains adamant that the State Department’s TIP Reports continually mischaracterise Guyana as a TIP haven.
The Task Force said that it seriously questions the authenticity of the US State Department’s report based on it heavy reliance on second-hand data and the credibility of its TIP country report begs the question of the quality of the sources of information.
It appears that the architects of the US Report are less willing to use information from official sources and prefer to base their reports mainly on “other sources”, some of which may have strong anti-government agendas and have already demonstrated their partiality to embellish issues for political reasons, the Task Force said in a press release.
The methodological section of the Report does not provide practical indicators by which the Government of Guyana can assess its own anti-trafficking efforts, relative to the criteria by which they are evaluated.
The extensive grassroot network that Government has developed to support the fight against the scourge has given no indication that it was a problem as described in the US TIP Report.
In fact, the Task Force said, there were only two reports of persons presumed to be trafficked in 2008, and two persons were charged early in January 2009 for human trafficking.
The release stated that the 2008 Report of the Ministerial Task Force on TIP had stated, after a thorough investigation of the problem of human trafficking in Guyana, that it was difficult to corroborate the findings in the US Report.
The Task Force Report contended that the views of the US Report do not tally with first-hand experience of personnel from Government agencies that have been in the forefront of the anti - trafficking fight. Neither do they reckon with the experience of focal points from several respected Non Governmental Organisations (NGOs).
The Task Force Report also mentions a number of worthwhile initiatives that are obviously omitted in the US Report. A typical example is the bilateral agreements Guyana initiated with neighbouring countries such as Suriname and Brazil to respond to human trafficking. These agreements focused on improving legal, judicial and law enforcement cooperation in the fight against TIP and other forms of transnational organized crime.
In this regard, Guyana will continue to improve its performance in responding to allegations of TIP.
Already, expanded prevention measures, coupled with heightened activity from law enforcement agencies, as well as their vigorous enforcement and sensitization measures at the national level have made it difficult for human traffickers to conduct their activities. (GINA)