Help for human trafficking victims ‘streamlined’ after workshop

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Director of the CTU Allan Meiguel at the Partnering to Combat Trafficking in Persons workshop held at the Cascadia Hotel and Conference Centre, Port of Spain, on March 1. – Photo courtesy the CTU’s Facebook page

STAKEHOLDERS in the fight against human trafficking in Trinidad and Tobago held a workshop at the Cascadia Hotel and Conference Centre, Port of Spain, on March 1 to discuss how to streamline the victim assistance process and bolster victim support mechanisms.

The Counter Trafficking Unit (CTU) of the Ministry of National Security collaborated with the International Organization for Migration (IOM) to host its first stakeholder workshop themed, “Partnering to Combat Trafficking in Persons.”

In attendance at the event were officials from the diplomatic corps, police, Law Association of Trinidad and Tobago (LATT), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Pan American Development Foundation (PADF).

Social service agencies including the Children’s Authority of TT (CATT), Rape Crisis Society of TT, St Jude’s Home for Girls, Family Planning Association of TT, Families in Action; and civil society organisations such as the Heroes Foundation and Living Waters Community were also present.

On March 7, a statement from the ministry said participants agreed upon a referral map to facilitate an integrated approach to victim care.

The map streamlines the process for victim assistance by outlining clear pathways for referral and support services, across government and non-governmental agencies.

Director of the CTU Allan Meiguel said that the map would “serve as a vital tool in facilitating an inter-agency approach, to enhancing the victim-care process”.

He added it would “provide a clear pathway for victims to access the support and assistance they urgently need.”

Meiguel said, “Through our collective efforts, we can ensure that no victim falls through the cracks and that every individual receives the care and protection they deserve.”

Deputy director of the CTU Dane-Marie Marshall said the workshop was important for Trinidad and Tobago and the region to “forge ahead towards a future free from exploitation and injustice.”