Local bureau “is making strides”: Human trafficking awareness campaignPOSTED: 09/3/15 9:59 AM
St. Maarten – The National Reporting Bureau on Human Trafficking (NRB) is making strides in the fight against human trafficking by proactively informing and educating every sector of the community about their bureau’s core tasks and the role we all play in combating Human Trafficking. In addition, the bureau takes pride in publishing the results received from the Department of State in the TIP Report. The NRB falls under the Immigration and Border Protection Service.
The NRB is the executing agency for prevention and protection of victims of human trafficking. After approving the policy on temporary residency by the Minister of Justice victims are empowered and encouraged to assist in the investigation and prosecution of the offenders of human trafficking. Presently, the NRB focuses on launching the human trafficking and smuggling awareness campaign. The goal is to inform civil society and other stakeholders about the serious issue of human trafficking and smuggling. Periodically the NRB strategically organizes information sessions for the representatives of the immigrants, with the business community and the tourism sector. It provides information about indicators of human trafficking and also about its core tasks, to the incoming immigrant and domestic workers, and those working in the adult entertainment industry, who collect their residence permits at the IBP office.
In addition, the NRB makes it a priority to consciously inform immigrant workers of their legal rights and how to report a possible case of human trafficking. It also distributes folders about Prostitution and Exploitation and Labor and Exploitation with information about combating exploitation to workers.
The NRB pays quarterly visits to all local brothels and dance clubs, to inform them about the organization’s core tasks and how to contact them to report a possible human trafficking case. The NRB is working diligently to facilitate the flow of communication during these visits by providing staff members who speak multiple languages. Separate info sessions ensure that information is provided to club owners, who are also reminded of the rules they have to comply with.
The NRB focuses on bringing awareness to the community, including those in the frontlines who may be at one point or another in direct contact with potential victims of human trafficking. These include immigration officers, the Mobile Control Unit and first responders like ambulance personnel, community police officer, family doctors and the SMMC staff. The NRB also works closely with non-governmental organizations like Anti-Trafficking in Persons (ATIP) and Safe Haven where victims can be housed and sheltered. Since the establishment of the NRB in September 2013, the NRB received several reports about alleged cases of labor exploitation.
Each TIP Report narrative contains specific recommendations for a government to consider implementing over the coming year. In addition to the country-specific recommendations within the TIP Report narrative, the Department of State is providing our government with a short suggested action plan that reflects these recommendations. Both the action plan and accompanying recommendations are aimed at providing countries with guidance related to the minimum standards outlined in the Trafficking Victims Protection Act; these standards are generally consistent with the standards set forth in the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, supplementing the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (the “Palermo Protocol”).
“The report confirmed that the government of Sint Maarten is complying with the minimum required standards, by identifying that total awareness is the key to combat human trafficking. The Department of State commended Sint Maarten on the positive results it has attained and encourages it to maintain this standard by continuing to advance and work in a focused, strategic, and very proactive manner,” the NRB said in a press release.