Government officials from the United States (US) and Jamaica met last week in Kingston to launch activities in support of the US-Jamaica Child Protection Compact (CPC) Partnership.
The partnership, signed in May 2018 by Marcia Gilbert-Roberts, permanent secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, and US Chargé d’Affaires, Eric Khant, is a jointly-developed, four-year plan to enhance the efforts of the Jamaican government and civil society to combat child trafficking. This is the first such partnership in the Caribbean and the fourth in the world.
The State Department’s Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons (TIP Office) led the negotiations for the United States and awarded US$5 million to three implementing partners: the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the Warnath Group, and Winrock International. Jamaica’s National Task Force Against Trafficking in Persons (NATFATIP) led the CPC Partnership negotiations for Jamaica and the government pledged to dedicate staff resources and operating budget to support the achievement of the partnership’s objectives.
Both governments have committed to working collaboratively in Jamaica over the four-year implementation period to achieve improved and sustainable policies and practices to combat all forms of child trafficking.
Consistent with the Partnership, IOM, the Warnath Group, and Winrock International will work collaboratively with Jamaican officials to build on existing efforts to effectively prosecute and convict child traffickers, identify and provide comprehensive, trauma-informed care to child trafficking victims, and prevent child trafficking in all its forms.
IOM, along with sub-recipient the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, will conduct broad research on the prevalence of child sex and labor trafficking in the country, including risk factors, health and safety impacts, and dynamics of exploitation.
IOM will widely disseminate the findings of this research with government and nongovernment stakeholders.
Through a carefully designed, targeted, and locally specified training and technical assistance program, the Warnath Group will help build the capacity of Jamaican law enforcement authorities, victim service providers, and civil society organisations to increase the number of victim-centred investigations, prosecutions, and convictions of child trafficking cases, as well as support the Government of Jamaica to strengthen and maintain data collection systems.
The programme will include multi-day skill-based trainings, master classes, online resources, and a real-world simulation to train approximately 300 government officials and civil society members.
The Warnath Group will work with police and victim service providers to establish multidisciplinary child-friendly spaces for interviewing victims and providing assistance and referral to civil society organisations immediately following their removal from trafficking situations.
The Warnath Group will also support the Jamaican government to strengthen its data collection systems, including through the provision of technical assistance to the Office of the National Rapporteur on Trafficking in Persons in data analysis and reporting of child trafficking.
Winrock International, with support of sub-recipient Lawyers Without Borders and local implementing partners, will strengthen government and civil society capacity to identify and provide comprehensive services to more child trafficking victims and increase efforts to prevent child trafficking, including through developing and strengthening community-based mechanisms.
The programme will develop or strengthen protocols for identification and referral of child trafficking victims, provide targeted training to and improve coordination among government officials and civil society on identifying and referring child trafficking cases and providing comprehensive, trauma-informed care to these victims.
Winrock will work with care providers to expand the availability of appropriately staffed and furnished shelter spaces for victims. Additionally, the programme will implement community-based education and outreach activities to increase civil society and community responses to child trafficking.