SAINT Lucians are being asked to practice heightened personal and public safety against the backdrop of increased social activities during this festive season and to remember that trafficking in persons’ awareness remains relevant.
Sounding the call to be on the alert as the festive season unfolds is the Department of Home Affairs and National Security under which the Prevention of Trafficking In Persons Task Force falls.
Chairperson of the Task Force Mrs. Elizabeth Bailey noted that the dynamics of Trafficking in Persons is strongly linked to vulnerabilities such as financial hardship, unemployment, or in some cases parental neglect and abandonment.
“Those who are not very fortunate may feel pressured to take unnecessary risks. Several people are also traveling during this time of year. Therefore, we want to appeal to the public, particularly young adults, to be vigilante and self-aware at all times. If possible help to sensitize another person to also practice increased caution,” explained the Chairperson of the Prevention of Trafficking In Persons Task Force Mrs. Elizabeth Bailey, who added that sensitization efforts will continue in the new year.”
Trafficking In Persons involves an act committed for the purpose of exploiting someone’s labour or services. Victims are compelled to provide their labour or services under circumstances which are forced, unsafe, inhumane, and illegal.
The Trafficking In Persons 24 – hour toll free number is 847. The public is encouraged to call the hotline number should they feel endangered by traffickers or if they suspect that someone else is being subjected to this crime.