Trafficking in Person cases skyrocket
The number of Trafficking in Persons (TIP) cases is on the increase. This state of affairs was yesterday amplified by Minister of Social Protection, Volda Lawrence. Ms Lawrence, who was at the time speaking at the launch of the State of the World Population Report 2016 at the Kingston, Georgetown, Umana Yana, spoke of an alarming increase in alleged cases seen by her Ministry’s Counter TIP Unit. Based on the cases seen by the Unit, TIP cases skyrocketed this year when compared to four years ago. Between the months of January and October 2016, there were 103 alleged victims of TIP. Since females usually account for the majority of cases reported it was not unexpected that the number of TIP cases this year noticeably increased. This translated to 97 females and six males TIP victims. According to Lawrence, while the data currently in the possession of the Counter TIP Unit suggests that the number of alleged victims between the years 2012 and 2015 was fairly constant, for this year the number of cases is already unprecedented. While in 2012 the alleged cases of TIP amounted to 54, in 2013 there were 56 and 59 in 2014. The cases continued to mount and reached 65 by 2015.
But the Minister observed yesterday, “Something is happening because for the period January to October 2016 there has been a significant increase almost doubling what obtained in 2012.” However, even amid her vocalised concern, Minister Lawrence cautioned, “This data refers to the number of suspected cases referred to the Ministry of Social Protection’s Counter TIP Unit and not actual confirmed cases within Guyana.” But though only suspected, the Minister asserted that the data suggest that over the five-year period (2012-2016) the female victims of TIP far outstripped the male victims. She noted that the majority of alleged victims were under the age of 18 except in the years 2014 and 2015.