Friday, April 16, 2004

Gya: Clamping down on human trafficking

WHILE Government remains hospitable to citizens of other countries, the Administration is working with the United States Government to implement regulations to monitor and curb the irregular movement of people into Guyana.
According to the Head of State, Guyana is open to visitors, but there is a limit to what can be tolerated. He noted that often foreigners bring with them varying cultures and behaviour, and in some instances, this is not good for Guyanese. Consequently, President Jagdeo disclosed that Government is seeking assistance from the United States Administration on a law to deal with the trafficking of people in Guyana.
He said the legislation being looked into will prioritize forced prostitution and forced labour, especially among children.

"We are starting with these two things as priority. In the case of prostitution, especially if people are forced, because I have heard that in some mining camps people are being held against their will and forced into prostitution. We take a strong view and will see these places raided and action taken to prosecute offenders. The second thing is the forced labour. I have heard that business places take people, especially Amerindian girls, to work and keep them in bondage where they cannot leave when they want to," he said.
In Bartica there has been a large influx of Brazilians who have contributed significantly to the mining industry, but residents are concerned that some of them are encouraging child labour and child prostitution. The President noted that this is a criminal activity and should not be tolerated by the community. He called on the Police to closely examine the situation in Bartica.

Residents mooted the idea of having stricter monitoring of persons coming into the area, and while the President did not rule out the idea, he noted that the modalities of any agreement would have to be examined and finalized as relevant to Guyan
This is good, but Guyana also has to pay close attention to terrorists who may be coming in from the Muslim Triangle. The Iranian presence in Guyana ensures that these will receive a warm welcome.


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