Jermaine Grant (3rd left), Regional Programme Coordinator at IOM, presents report to Osmond Petty ( 3rd right) Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of National Security. Others pictured here are Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Kaye Bass ( 2nd right); Samuel Berridge (1st right); Lori Mann (2nd left); and Sancho Duncan (1st left), Senior Systems Analyst at the IT Department.

The Ministry of National Security received technical assistance products aimed at assisting the Federation in prosecuting cases of human trafficking and operationalization of a national task force during a ceremony at the Ministry of Finance Conference Room Thursday.

At the ceremony, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) handed over a report that outlines “Recommendations for setting up a National Task Force and Public Awareness Campaign on Human Trafficking in St. Kitts and Nevis” and a database. Both were the culmination of a four-month-long training programme with experts in the field of human trafficking. Wednesday, 20 persons from various ministries and departments were trained to use the database.

“This project is closing but your work is just beginning. We hope that you take the recommendations that we have presented in this report forward and that IOM is poised to continue to offer technical assistance and support as you do bring this forward,” International Council at the Council of Europe and Traffic Official, Lori Mann, said. “It was for me, a sincere pleasure to be able to meet and work with all of you. I learned a lot during the process. I hope that you all did as well, and I also sincerely hope that you mobilize the drive and the political will that is necessary to take those recommendations forward.”

Ms. Mann said that St. Kitts and Nevis, like other countries, is susceptible to human trafficking, but noted that there are measures that can be put in place to address this problem. The Federation has already put infrastructure in place, including the creation of the National Task Force under the Trafficking in Persons (Prevention) Act, 2008.

Samuel Berridge, Senior Foreign Service Officer in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Aviation, said that the handing over signaled the culmination of the phase of the project entitled Capacity Building and Public Awareness in trafficking persons. He added that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs had reached out to the international stakeholder for assistance.

The United Nations defines human trafficking as the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring, or receipt of persons by improper means (such as force, abduction, fraud, or coercion) for an improper purpose including forced labor or sexual exploitation.