By Department of Home Affairs
(PRESS RELEASE) — The Department of Home Affairs and National Security is alerting the citizenry that the implications of the coronavirus pandemic, may increase the cases of human trafficking globally.
Organizations such as the US State Department in its 2020 Report on Human Trafficking has raised concerns on the impact of the pandemic on human rights and on vulnerable populations.
Global trends have shown that dramatic increases in job losses and reductions in income, especially for tourism sector workers, and many other low wage employees could mean that significant numbers of people who were already vulnerable, find themselves in even more precarious circumstances.
In the midst of the ongoing pandemic, Minister for Home Affairs and National Security Senator Hon. Hermangild Francis has taken the opportunity to remind Saint Lucians to be vigilant, particularly when exploring new prospects overseas.
“In as much as things are difficult for many of us and we definitely need to have a job and income for survival, let us do our best to remain safe from exploitation and to ensure that no one becomes a victim of human trafficking. Now is not the time to go into any situation blindly because there is more risk involved.”
In regard to Trafficking in Persons (TIP) traffickers are said to be adjusting their business models to the ‘new normal’ created by the pandemic, especially through the abuse of modern communications technologies.
In Saint Lucia, the hotline for reporting any suspected cases of Trafficking in Persons is 847. The authorities are encouraging the public to use this hotline number to report any suspected cases of human trafficking.