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Aruba assesses human trafficking threat

( IOM ) - New research conducted by IOM in close cooperation with the Government of Aruba examines Aruba's prevention, protection and prosecution efforts related to human trafficking, and determines the effectiveness of its laws, policies, procedures, practices and partnerships.  


"The impetus for the research was a need for stakeholders to better understand the island's strengths and weaknesses in its response to human trafficking. The ' Situational Analysis of Aruba's Response to Human Trafficking' serves as a discussion and action guide for all those involved to improve Aruba's response to the crime," explains IOM project manager Chissey Mueller.

The research documents the actions, along with the human and material resources, that Aruba has taken since 2006 with the introduction of a human trafficking article in the Aruban Criminal Code. 

It also highlights key achievements, including the formation of a multi-agency task force, the establishment of a National Coordinator, a hotline, awareness campaigns including a National Day against Human Trafficking, assistance to victims of trafficking and investigation and prosecution of cases.

But the analysis recommends that Aruba strive for a more structured response by, for example, allocating an adequate budget to support activities undertaken by the task force and for a full-time National Coordinator position; formalizing its cooperation with NGOs; updating the current policy regarding prostitution in all its forms; training for a range of key stakeholders; and creating more opportunities for government agencies to interact with and provide information to newly arrived migrants.

The report also features artwork on the cover and inside pages created by young people in Aruba for a 2012 competition. The first and second place winners will receive their copy of the research, a certificate, and a monetary prize at the launch on Monday 9th September with Aruba's Minister of Justice, the National Coordinator and IOM. 

Since 2004, IOM has been helping to build the capacity of the English and Dutch-speaking Caribbean to fight human trafficking by raising awareness, training stakeholders and identifying and assisting victims.  

Regional trends, which are also present in Aruba, include trafficking for sexual exploitation, forced labor and domestic servitude.   Between 2009 and 2012, the Anti-Human Trafficking and Smuggling National Coordinator of Aruba documented 10 official cases of alleged or confirmed human trafficking.

The research is part of IOM's regional capacity building program to combat human trafficking in Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba, Jamaica, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and Trinidad and Tobago, with funding made possible by a grant from the US Department of State, Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons (J/TIP).