EDITORIAL: Let’s stamp out humans trading
Human trafficking must be one of the most horrible examples of man’s inhumanity to man.
The execution of such a dastardly deed must necessarily involve the conscious decision by the perpetrator to deprive the victim of much of his or her personal freedom so that the victim can be degraded and forced to carry out, and be an unwilling pawn in, the scheme of evil practised by the perpetrator for his or her material gain.
It is the commodification by one human being of another that makes this practice so evil and quite often those who condemn this villainous action draw comparisons with slavery and point out how these behaviours are cut from the same cloth; except that trafficking never had the legal sanction once slavery was abolished.
Earlier this week a workshop on Trafficking in Persons was held at the Cave Hill Campus of the University of the West Indies. It was sponsored by the Bureau of Gender Affairs in association with the National Task Force on Human Trafficking.
As a people for whom the dehumanizing practice of slavery has left its own bitter legacy, we have a clear interest in helping to stamp out this pernicious practice wherever and whenever we can, and we therefore need to deal with claims that our national hands are not as clean as they might be.
It must be a matter of constant concern to read that the Trafficking In Persons Report of 2012 of United States’ origin suggests that our island is both a source and a destination for men women and children being subjected to forced labour and sexual trafficking.
We are glad that our Attorney General refuted these allegations, but called for the sensitization of all Barbadians so that if there is evidence of the practice that any such victims may feel emboldened to come forward and seek assistance of the authorities.
While we fully support the learned Attorney General’s approach, we must point out that this is easier said than done, since humans who become victims of this crime are not often in a position to do anything but comply with the evil stratagems of their captors. Hence we applaud the objective of the workshop in trying to ensure that the training will better equip participants in identifying persons who may be victims.
We also support the Attorney General’s decision to enlist the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to engage the United States authorities to determine the source of the information contained in their report.
After 45 years of Independence, we have come too far as a small nation to have our national character besmirched by allegations suggesting that we either permit or acquiesce in the trafficking of humans.
Hence we urge the authorities to redouble their efforts to discover if there are indeed cases of human trafficking on the island, and if there are, to do everything to root them out and to bring the perpetrators to justice.