July 24, 2012
Vincentian woman victim of human trafficking – Eustace

A Vincentian woman is suspected of having fallen victim to human trafficking, Opposition Leader Arnhim Eustace said on radio yesterday.{{more}}

The East Kingstown representative said in his weekly radio programme that a woman recently “was lamenting the fact that her daughter had gone away and that she was trying to get in contact with her.

“There wasn’t much contact. … But the daughter is now in a country where Vincentians don’t normally go to,” Eustace said.

“And when she told me that, my mind immediately ran on human trafficking. Perhaps, she was lured away on the pretext of a job some place and now is being used for something else,” Eustace said, adding that he did not want to give details.

SEARCHLIGHT learnt of the suspected case of human trafficking last week, but was asked not to publish the information, since doing so could further endanger the woman, if she is indeed in peril.

The publication further understands that a foreign government has been asked to help to locate the woman, who is said to be in a non-English-speaking country.

Eustace said yesterday that opposition senator Vynnette Frederick and an organisation here are working to try to locate the woman.

“And it turns out now that she is not the only one from St Vincent,” Eustace said.

“I say this because we can’t assume that these things don’t apply to us. And it is very important that we be aware as a Vincentian people of these kinds of issues because of what they can mean for our people.”

When Parliament meets today, Frederick is expected to ask Prime Minister and Minister of National Security Dr Ralph Gonsalves whether any effort has been made to work with the relevant stakeholders to update this country’s Police Force Training Manual to include modules training all police recruits on how to treat human trafficking and domestic violence reports.

If not, she wants Gonsalves to indicate whether such an initiative will be undertaken and when the public can expect the changes to be initiated. (KXC)