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Thursday, March 30, 2006 

Wednesday March 29, 2006 - Philipsburg, Sint Maarten, N.A.

Minister Dick takes action against human trafficking

PHILIPSBURG--Minister of Justice David Dick made a firm commitment yesterday that he is going to combat human trafficking through the Netherlands Antilles. He launched a preventive publicity campaign to deal with the issue.

Dick said women were transported to the Netherlands Antilles under horrible conditions and on false pretexts, and ended up in prostitution. “There are also situations of forced labour and people being exploited. We must give a clear signal that the Netherlands Antilles does not tolerate these kinds of punishable acts,” he said.

The International Organisation on Migration (IOM), subsidised by the United States, through its work worldwide with migrants, noticed that it was possible that human trafficking went through the Netherlands Antilles. In the investigation “Exploratory assessment of trafficking in persons in the Caribbean region” of June 2005 IOM came to the same conclusion.

That’s why a preventive publicity campaign was set up. The Dutch Ministry of Justice made funds available for the Netherlands Antilles to participate in the publicity campaign by IOM.
The United States makes a Trafficking in Persons (TIP) report every year in which every country, including the Netherlands Antilles, is judged on its efforts to prevent human trafficking. The United States is thinking about taking measures against countries that don’t make sufficient effort.

According to Miloushka Racamy of the Netherlands Antilles Department Justice, the Netherlands Antilles does not have to fear repercussions, because “we are listed as part of the Dutch Kingdom, according to the 2005 report.”

A workgroup is being formed that will provide information on human trafficking through all media channels. A coordinator will be appointed in each island territory to fill in the way the publicity campaign is conducted.

Copyright ©1998-2005 The Daily Herald

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