Jamaica Appoints Caribbean’s First Human Trafficking ‘Rapporteur’

Jamaica Appoints Caribbean’s First Human Trafficking ‘Rapporteur’

By Dialogo
April 07, 2015




Jamaica has become the first Caribbean nation to appoint a national coordinator to assist in the battle against human trafficking and exploitation.

Diahann Gordon Harrison, an attorney and former prosecutor who currently serves as Jamaica’s Children’s Advocate, was named the country's National Rapporteur on Trafficking in Persons on March 10.

"This appointment makes Jamaica the first Caribbean nation to embrace this approach; it is believed that this can only serve to enhance Jamaica's anti-trafficking profile and exhibits the seriousness with which the Government of Jamaica regards this issue," the Jamaican Ministry of National Security stated.

National Rapporteur has several duties


As National Rapporteur, Gordon Harrison will act as an anti-human trafficking “czar” to coordinate efforts by various government agencies in the fight against human trafficking and exploitation.

“One of the primary functions of the National Rapporteur will be to create a more objective reporting system on the issue of trafficking in the country,” the Ministry reported.

“In addition, the National Rapporteur will … have the authority to obtain from the relevant authorities, including the Director of Public Prosecutions and the Anti-Trafficking-in-Persons (TIP) Unit in the Jamaica Constabulary Force, any information necessary to carry out her stated duties; to conduct independent examinations/investigations of reports of alleged instances of human trafficking where the need arises; to report on violations, wherever they may occur, of the rights of victims, as well as discrimination, threats or use of violence, harassment, intimidation or reprisals directed at persons exercising these rights; and to provide an analytical overview of the situation in trafficking in an annual report to the Government of Jamaica.”

“These powers of the National Rapporteur are consistent with internationally accepted best practice and are parallel to National Rapporteur mechanisms in other jurisdictions.”

The appointment of a National Rapporteur will help Jamaica's efforts to help victims of human trafficking, especially children and teenagers.

"Children and young people today are more exposed to the major problems of a growing population, there can be no future if there is no prevention and action," said Guillermo Garduño, a security analyst at the Metropolitan Autonomous University (UAM) in Mexico. "The appointment of this person is positive, she has experience in this regard. "


Jamaica has been lauded for efforts to combat human trafficking


Human trafficking for forced labor or sexual exploitation is a global problem which generates as much as $32 billion (USD) in illegal profits every year, according to the United Nations, and has become the world’s fastest-growing transnational criminal enterprise.

The problem is particularly acute in the Americas and the Caribbean, and Jamaica has been designated by international agencies as a source, transit point and destination country for adults and children subjected to sex trafficking and forced labor.

However, the country's government has also won praise for its efforts to combat the problem. For instance, in 2005 it created a National Task Force Against Trafficking in Persons (NATFATIP) as a multi-agency approach to develop and implement Jamaica’s legislative, institutional and operational response for combating human trafficking. Also that year, an Anti-Trafficking in Persons Unit (TIP) was established within the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) to specifically target human trafficking crimes.

The Jamaican government has also required anti-trafficking training for all police officers, conducted training seminars for prosecutors and other government officials, and launched a series of anti-trafficking public awareness campaigns.

Consequently, in 2014, the JCF – the island nation's police force – reported that 27 trafficking victims had been rescued during the previous two years. There were also seven cases before the courts, and another 28 cases under investigation, four of which involved transnational investigations.

Julieta Pelcastre contributed to this article.








Jamaica has become the first Caribbean nation to appoint a national coordinator to assist in the battle against human trafficking and exploitation.

Diahann Gordon Harrison, an attorney and former prosecutor who currently serves as Jamaica’s Children’s Advocate, was named the country's National Rapporteur on Trafficking in Persons on March 10.

"This appointment makes Jamaica the first Caribbean nation to embrace this approach; it is believed that this can only serve to enhance Jamaica's anti-trafficking profile and exhibits the seriousness with which the Government of Jamaica regards this issue," the Jamaican Ministry of National Security stated.

National Rapporteur has several duties


As National Rapporteur, Gordon Harrison will act as an anti-human trafficking “czar” to coordinate efforts by various government agencies in the fight against human trafficking and exploitation.

“One of the primary functions of the National Rapporteur will be to create a more objective reporting system on the issue of trafficking in the country,” the Ministry reported.

“In addition, the National Rapporteur will … have the authority to obtain from the relevant authorities, including the Director of Public Prosecutions and the Anti-Trafficking-in-Persons (TIP) Unit in the Jamaica Constabulary Force, any information necessary to carry out her stated duties; to conduct independent examinations/investigations of reports of alleged instances of human trafficking where the need arises; to report on violations, wherever they may occur, of the rights of victims, as well as discrimination, threats or use of violence, harassment, intimidation or reprisals directed at persons exercising these rights; and to provide an analytical overview of the situation in trafficking in an annual report to the Government of Jamaica.”

“These powers of the National Rapporteur are consistent with internationally accepted best practice and are parallel to National Rapporteur mechanisms in other jurisdictions.”

The appointment of a National Rapporteur will help Jamaica's efforts to help victims of human trafficking, especially children and teenagers.

"Children and young people today are more exposed to the major problems of a growing population, there can be no future if there is no prevention and action," said Guillermo Garduño, a security analyst at the Metropolitan Autonomous University (UAM) in Mexico. "The appointment of this person is positive, she has experience in this regard. "


Jamaica has been lauded for efforts to combat human trafficking


Human trafficking for forced labor or sexual exploitation is a global problem which generates as much as $32 billion (USD) in illegal profits every year, according to the United Nations, and has become the world’s fastest-growing transnational criminal enterprise.

The problem is particularly acute in the Americas and the Caribbean, and Jamaica has been designated by international agencies as a source, transit point and destination country for adults and children subjected to sex trafficking and forced labor.

However, the country's government has also won praise for its efforts to combat the problem. For instance, in 2005 it created a National Task Force Against Trafficking in Persons (NATFATIP) as a multi-agency approach to develop and implement Jamaica’s legislative, institutional and operational response for combating human trafficking. Also that year, an Anti-Trafficking in Persons Unit (TIP) was established within the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) to specifically target human trafficking crimes.

The Jamaican government has also required anti-trafficking training for all police officers, conducted training seminars for prosecutors and other government officials, and launched a series of anti-trafficking public awareness campaigns.

Consequently, in 2014, the JCF – the island nation's police force – reported that 27 trafficking victims had been rescued during the previous two years. There were also seven cases before the courts, and another 28 cases under investigation, four of which involved transnational investigations.

Julieta Pelcastre contributed to this article.





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