For the fifth (5) consecutive year, St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) has maintained its Tier 2 ranking in the United States Annual Trafficking in Persons Report (TIP Report). The report was released on Thursday July 01, 2021 by United States Secretary of State, Hon. Antony Blinken.
According to the United States Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA of 2020) countries on Tier 2 ranking are “Countries whose governments do not fully comply with all of the TVPA’s minimum standard, but are making significant efforts to bring themselves into compliance with those standards.”
The 2021 TIP Report states “The Government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines does not fully meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking but is making significant efforts to do so. The government demonstrated overall increasing efforts compared to the previous reporting period, considering the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on its anti-trafficking capacity; therefore St. Vincent and the Grenadines remained on Tier 2. These efforts included increased training for police, the addition of an NGO as a member of the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Unit (ATIPU), the updating and funding of an anti-trafficking national action plan, and expanded public awareness campaigns.”
The report went on “however, the government did not meet the minimum standards in several key areas. Authorities have not prosecuted a trafficking case since 2015 and have never convicted a trafficker.”
Head of Anti-Trafficking in Persons Unit (ATIPU) Assistant Superintendent of Police, Mr. Junior Simmons in commenting on the report noted “the fact that St. Vincent and the Grenadines has been able to maintain the ‘second best’ ranking (Tier 2), in the US Annual TIP Report for five consecutive years is ample evidence that the government is doubly serious about combating human trafficking.” ASP Simmons went on to say “the government has adopted the Four P’s approach which includes: prevention of human trafficking; protection of victims of human trafficking; prosecution of human traffickers; and partnership with all stakeholders to eliminate incidents of human trafficking.”
ASP Simmons extends thanks and appreciation to all of the stakeholders involved in combating human trafficking in SVG; including the government, the national taskforce against trafficking in Persons (NTFaTIP) which is chaired by Dr. Hon. Ralph Gonsalves, Prime Minister of SVG, the Commissioner of Police and other law enforcement agencies, the public and private sectors, civil society, non-governmental organizations, faith-based organizations and the community at large.
Anyone who suspects that a person may be a victim of human trafficking are encouraged to contact the Anti-trafficking in Persons Unit at telephone numbers; 1-784-457-1211; or 1-784-456-1750; email: [email protected]; or via social media at Anti-Trafficking in Persons Unit RSVGPF. All information received will be treated confidentially. “If you see something, say something”.