We must protect our men, women and children
Belize City: Thursday 6th December 2018
According to the United States Government, The present government is not doing its best to combat trafficking in persons resulting in the country being rated for the fourth year consecutively at tier 3 by the U.S. State Department’s 2018 Trafficking in Persons Report. This year Belize is the only country in Central America to receive this rating that has been considered “the worst rating” given out by the U.S. State Department.
Those nations rated as Tier 3 are subject to specific foreign assistance restrictions unless the President waives those restrictions. Belize was granted a partial waiver which means the U.S. will facilitate continuation of programming to enhance the ability of the Government of Belize to combat trafficking in persons, interdict illicit narcotics moving through its national waters and crossing its borders, and address other forms of drug trafficking and other transnational crimes, thereby reducing threats to their country’s national security interests.
According to a report on http://humantraffickingsearch.org “in 2018 the Government of Belize did not investigate any public officials for complicity (despite many serious allegations). Law enforcement officials are not only untrained in handling trafficking cases but many are actively involved in protecting traffickers”.
“In 2018, Belize’s government decreased efforts to prosecute traffickers, failing to convict a single trafficker”
The restrictions under the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA) are intended to encourage the affected governments to make more significant efforts to meet the minimum standards for combating human trafficking.
People’s United Party Leader, Honorable John Briceno said human trafficking is modern slavery. “It is despicable. We need to make sure that we can enforce the laws that are in place, to go after the perpetrators that are constantly involved in human trafficking. I think we need to sit down with the U.S. Embassy here in Belize to find out where they see us failing and then find ways how we can address the issue.”
Since the press release was issued on Friday November 30th, 2018 several current Government ministers have gone on record saying that they have been working to stop human trafficking. In the document from http://humantraffickingsearch.org “Although the prime minister of Belize, Dean Barrow, refutes the U.S. State Department’s claims that his government is complicit – the data collected by the State Department challenges that.”
Party Leader Hon. John Briceno said “obviously something is wrong and, the U.S. government is saying we don’t see you putting in the efforts.”
The People’s United Party will be addressing this issue head-on. The PUP believes that it is important to protect men, women and children.