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OAS will train Jamaican Consular Officers to combat human trafficking

WASHINGTON – The Department of Public Security (DPS) of the Secretariat for Multidimensional Security (SMS) of the Organization of American States (OAS) is currently implementing the “Training Institutes of Foreign Affairs on Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children” Program.

As part of this program, a 2-day training seminar will take place in Kingston, Jamaica, on July 15th and 16th, 2009 to train Jamaican consular officers in the prevention and identification of human trafficking cases and the protection of victims.

The training aspires to build specific competencies in consular officials, as well as officers from other ministries involved in the fight against human trafficking: the first is to increase understanding of the crime of trafficking in persons within a human rights framework so that consular officials are better equipped to offer victim protection.

In addition, participants will be trained to understand the difference between trafficking and smuggling, better appreciate the causes of trafficking in persons (particularly emphasizing vulnerable populations) and learn how to recognize victims.

Finally, participants will become familiar with the various forms of exploitation (sexual exploitation, slavery, etc.) and determine the kind of assistance that might be required.

At the conclusion of the seminar, copies of the training materials specifically developed by the DPS for this program will be given to the authorities of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Jamaica so that future generations of consular officers can be trained on the issue of trafficking in persons.

It is further expected that this program will serve to improve international cooperation and coordination among the Ministries of Foreign Affairs (MFA) in the Latin American and Caribbean region. To date over 450 participants from Bolivia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Nicaragua, Honduras, Guatemala, Dominican Republic, Peru, Trinidad and Tobago and Haiti have been trained through his program.

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