Senator the Hon. Matthew Samuda, Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of National Security, says the Jamaican government is committed to continuously strengthening legislation to tackle the scourge of human trafficking in Jamaica.
“If we consider our history in trying to manage this global scourge, since 2007… many within the bureaucracy have worked tirelessly to ensure that we continue to make a more robust framework to deal with this issue,” Samuda said.
He was speaking in the Senate on Friday during debate on the Trafficking in Persons (Prevention, Suppression and Punishment) (Amendment) Act, 2021. The bill was approved without amendment.
Samuda said work has continued under successive Administrations “to ensure that we get on top of this scourge.”
He emphasized that this is crucial, given Jamaica’s geographic location which places the country at risk of being exploited as a transit point and destination for human trafficking.
“Given the global and lucrative nature of human trafficking and its imminent threat to our people, the government has taken the decision to proceed with amendments to the Act to remove the option of fines as a penalty for certain offenses that are egregious in nature,” he said.