June 16, 2020 – The United States and Jamaica continue to partner on efforts to combat child trafficking. Representatives of both governments convened an online discussion to mark progress and define next steps as part of the U.S. – Jamaica Child Protection Compact Partnership, a 4-year partnership signed by both governments on May 30, 2018. The United States has contributed US$5.1 million to this partnership. Participants included United States Ambassador-at-Large to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons John Cotton Richmond, United States Deputy Chief of Mission to Jamaica John McIntyre, and Jamaican Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Science, Energy & Technology and Chair of the National Taskforce Against Trafficking in Persons (NATFATIP) Carol Palmer.
During the dialogue, both governments reiterated specific commitments to the partnership and recognized benchmarks for progress. These include strengthened capacity to identify more child trafficking victims and better coordination of the provision of comprehensive protective services. Participants also discussed plans to strengthen efforts to prosecute and punish traffickers and improve the efficacy of efforts to prevent child trafficking from occurring. The COVID-19 pandemic reinforces the urgent need to protect vulnerable people from exploitation by traffickers.
United States Ambassador-at-Large to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons John Cotton Richmond expressed his appreciation for the importance of the partnership stating, “Our collective resolve is more important than ever as we monitor and respond to human trafficking in a changing landscape. Survivors and vulnerable people are facing new risks as a result of the pandemic. Governments and civil society are also encountering new challenges. But the U.S.-Jamaica Child Protection Compact Partnership is evidence that we can continue this work and do so with hope. I thank the Government of Jamaica for its commitment to identifying and protecting child trafficking victims and taking steps toward holding traffickers accountable. The United States stands firm in our commitment to combating child trafficking, and we stand with Jamaica to do so.”
United States Deputy Chief of Mission to Jamaica John McIntyre also noted, “The CPC offers a rare opportunity to collaborate with a whole-of-government approach to combating child trafficking. I applaud all our CPC partners and stakeholders for rising to this challenge and working relentlessly to continue to protect the island’s children, especially amidst COVID-19. The U.S. Government is committed to the success of this partnership and we will remain steadfast partners.”
Implementing partners on the CPC Partnership are the International Organization for Migration, the Warnath Group, and Winrock International. Together they collaborate with the Jamaican government on activities in support of the partnership’s prosecution, protection, and prevention objectives, including developing a national mechanism for referring potential victims to appropriate care services and supporting the creation of a multidisciplinary, child-friendly, space for interviewing potential child victims and initiating their care.
For more information on the U.S. Government’s Trafficking In Persons Office, please visit: https://www.state.gov/bureaus-offices/under-secretary-for-civilian-security-democracy-and-human-rights/office-to-monitor-and-combat-trafficking-in-persons/
For more information about Child Protection Compact Partnerships, please visit: https://www.state.gov/child-protection-compact-partnerships/