Human trafficking conditions in Guyana are “particularly horrific” said Interpol Executive Director of Police Tim Morris during a recent interview with the BBC.
The interview was recorded hours after the conclusion of operation Libertad- an Interpol coordinated sting-op that had rescued nearly 350 victims of human trafficking in the Caribbean and Latin America.
The operation lasted some two and a half years and was funded by the Canadian government.
According to Morris, in Guyana, it was particularly difficult to infiltrate trafficking rings.
It is believed that Traffickers target vulnerable people seeking a better life thus making it such a “widespread crime”.
Morris explained that “Some people don’t acknowledge that they are being exploited “.
A former top intelligence officer at the Australian Federal Police, the Interpol lead man went on to say that women are forced to work as prostitutes near remote goldmines and other areas in Guyana, that are often difficult to find.
His claim was backed by a statement from Guyana’s Assistant Director of Public Prosecution Diana O’Brien who stated that “isolated locations make it difficult for officers to avoid detection”.
These locations are so isolated that it’s almost impossible for victims to escape, she had stressed.
In the BBC report, she supported Mr. Morris’ position that by the time a team can be assembled and an operation launched, the victims are moved their traffickers,.
But while trafficking victims are rescued, many have subsequently complained that they have often faced tough times in their efforts to be reintegrated back into society, find a job, or lead a normal life, since post-rescue social support is generally inadequate.
In Guyana’s case, there is much to be done in the area of social provisions for tackling Trafficking in Persons particularly after a successful raid or rescue, which would often leave victims up to the fancy of local authorities who are often slothful in making long-term after-rescue provisions.
According to the US Department of State, Guyana now stands at Tier 1 in the combat against Human Trafficking; which means that the country “fully meets the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking”.