Govt failed to protect TIP victims outside Georgetown – US report

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Govt failed to protect TIP victims outside Georgetown – US report

first_imgAlthough the Guyana Government fully meets the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking, it did not provide adequate protection and shelter outside of the capital city or for child and male victims.US State Department 2019 TIP reportThis is according to the US Department of State report released on Thursday last which stated that Guyana has remained on Tier One and continues to demonstrate serious and sustained efforts during the reporting period.The report also revealed that in Guyana, the number of trafficking investigations and new prosecutions decreased and that the number of successful convictions remained low.As such, it has been recommended that the Government finalise, implement, and train law enforcement officials and front-line responders in written victim assistance, victim identification and referral procedures, fund specialised victim services, particularly for child, adult male, and Venezuelan victims.The report also recommends that the Guyana Government “vigorously investigate and prosecute sex and labour trafficking cases” including those involving child victims, hold convicted traffickers, including complicit public officials, accountable by imposing strong sentences, hold police and law enforcement officials accountable for intimidation of victims in shelters including restricted movement, lack of access to family visits or telephone services, provide additional protection for victims to testify against traffickers in a way that minimises re-traumatisation and to investigate and report on the cases reported to the trafficking hotline and by labour inspectors.However, the US report did acknowledge that there has been a demonstration of serious and sustained efforts by increasing funding for victim assistance, identifying and assisting more victims for the third consecutive year, and opening and operating a trafficking shelter outside of the capital area.ProsecutionIt was noted that there was maintenance of law enforcement efforts and reference was made to the Combating Trafficking of Persons Act of 2005 which criminalised sex trafficking and labour trafficking as well as the prescribed penalties of three years to life imprisonment. According to the 2019 report, these penalties were sufficiently stringent and, with respect to sex trafficking, commensurate with those prescribed for other serious crimes, such as rape.In 2018, the reported noted, the Government reported 30 new investigations, prosecuted 11 suspected traffickers (two initiated in prior periods), and convicted one trafficker for sex trafficking, compared with four investigations, 17 prosecutions (12 initiated in prior periods), and two convictions in 2017. The Government reported investigating 11 cases of child trafficking (10 sex trafficking and one labour trafficking).The court sentenced the convicted trafficker to three years’ imprisonment and required the trafficker to pay restitution to one victim. Meanwhile, the appeal of a 2017 case in which the Government required the trafficker to pay restitution without imprisonment, which was a penalty inconsistent with the law, was still pending at the end of this reporting period.However, the report pointed out that Government did not report any new investigations, prosecutions, or convictions of Government employees complicit in trafficking offences.Meanwhile, the appeal of a police officer convicted of sex trafficking and released on bail in 2016 was still pending at the end of the reporting period.ProtectionVictim assistance remains a concern, especially in areas outside of Georgetown and for child and male Venezuelan victims living in the outskirts in spite of the Administration increasing its efforts to identify and protect victims country-wide.According to the report, in 2018 there were 156 victims identified (106 for sex trafficking and 50 for labour trafficking) in comparison to 2017’s statistics of 131 victims.“The Government referred 93 victims to shelter and psychological services, compared with 115 in 2017. The Government screened 11 potential child trafficking victims (10 sex trafficking and one labour trafficking) in 2018. Despite the noticeable increase of victims from Venezuela, the Government lacked standard operating procedures for protecting foreign trafficking victims,” the US report stated.It was also emphasised that Guyanese law protects victims’ identities from release to the media and that while the present Administration reported that victims could leave shelters; observers reported police and other authorities intimidated victims into staying at shelters against their will, did not allow family visits until trials were completed, and cut short some foreign victims’ phone calls if they spoke in their native language.The US State Department report also revealed that the Government had reported multiple cases of delivering foreign victims to their respective embassies at the request of the foreign missions before the conclusion of prosecutions but failed in reporting whether it facilitated or funded the repatriation of Guyanese nationals victimised abroad.TraffickingConsistent with data retrieved over the last five years, this 2019 report acknowledged that human traffickers exploit domestic and foreign victims in Guyana while traffickers continue to exploit Guyanese victims abroad.It was further noted that while both sex trafficking and forced labour occur in interior mining communities, limited Government presence in Guyana’s interior renders the full extent of trafficking unknown.Additionally, the report states that in Guyana, children are particularly vulnerable to sex and labour trafficking while traffickers exploit Guyanese in sex and labour trafficking in Jamaica, Suriname, and other Caribbean countries.In response to this report, Public Security Minister, Khemraj Ramjattan on Friday last stated that the Ministerial Task Force on Trafficking in Persons accepts the Tier One Placement and believes it is testament to the work of the Task Force, Guyana’s anti-trafficking units, Non-Governmental Organisations, the general public through increased reporting and significant contributions made by partners beyond the shores of Guyana, including the United States Department of State.last_img read more

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Weekend Reading: The Top Must-Read Books For Entrepreneurs

first_imgWith the week coming to a close and the weekend just a few hours away, we thought we would take the opportunity to recommend a few books for the entrepreneur looking to do some weekend reading. Whether you’ve got a lot of time to sit and read, or just a little time in the car to listen to an audiobook, find some time to knock these off your reading list. Perhaps the most well known and most vocal venture capitalist is Guy Kawasaki, author of the aptly named blog How to Change the World and the books The Art of the Start and the more recent Reality Check, among others. If one was to enroll in Startup Entrepreneurialism 101, Kawasaki’s books would likely be required reading. Kawasaki’s years of experience from the early days at Apple and the Silicon Valley VC scene provides a wealth of information for the eager entrepreneur. Former Economist writer turned Wired editor-in-chief Chis Anderson is also the author of popular online business books perfect for the budding entrepreneur. The Long Tail was Anderson’s first book and was adapted from an article he wrote in Wired. In it, Anderson describes how online marketplaces have opened up the door for small niche businesses to thrive. In his second book, Free, he examines how sometimes giving away your product can make you more money in the end – the so-called “freemium” model. Anderson used this model to sell the book, offering it for free as an online download while at the same time selling the hardcover version in stores and online.The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand is one of my favorite novels of all time and it recently found itself included in Business Insider‘s list of 15 Books Every Entrepreneur Should Read. One would not expect a work of fiction to be included on a list littered with business strategy books, but Rand’s philosophy of individualism versus collectivism at the core of this novel can be easily applied to entrepreneurialism. Written in 1943, the novel is the story of an architect’s struggle to be true to his creative beliefs and not conform to traditional practices. Entrepreneurs looking to change the world should free up few open weekends to finish Rand’s dense but worthwhile novel.Still can’t get enough entrepreneurial books? Under30CEO has an excellent list of 10 Books Every Entrepreneur Must Read From 2009, and David Siteman Garland has a great list on his blog The Rise to the Top of 13 Must Read Books For Every Entrepreneur. Have some suggestions for further reading? Let us know in the comments!Photo by Flickr user Horia Varlan. Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting chris cameron Tags:#start#StartUp 101 A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai…center_img Related Posts 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic…last_img read more

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NIA team in Bhopal to probe blast in train

first_imgA team of National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Wednesday reached Bhopal to probe the blast in a train, suspected to be a terror attack.The blast occurred near the Jabri railway station under Shajapur district, about 60 km from Bhopal.NIA officials would interact with the Madhya Pradesh police personnel and verify leads available with them to ascertain whether the explosion was a terror attack, official sources said.Madhya Pradesh Home Minister Bhupendra Singh on Tuesday said the initial investigation suggested that the blast was a terror attack and investigation was underway to unravel the conspiracy behind the incident.Ten people were injured, three of them seriously, in the blast on the Bhopal-Ujjain passenger train.Madhya Pradesh Inspector General (Intelligence) Makrand Deoskar had said the blast was carried out “by planting an improvised explosive device (IED)”.last_img read more

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