U.S. Department of State 2006 Trafficking in Persons Report - Guyana
|Publisher||United States Department of State|
|Author||Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons|
|Publication Date||5 June 2006|
|Cite as||United States Department of State, U.S. Department of State 2006 Trafficking in Persons Report - Guyana, 5 June 2006, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/4680d88e4d.html [accessed 19 April 2014]|
|Disclaimer||This is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.|
Guyana (Tier 2)
Guyana is a country of origin, transit, and destination for young women and children trafficked for the purposes of sexual and labor exploitation. Most reported cases involve internal trafficking of adolescent girls. Much of this trafficking takes place in remote areas of the interior, or involves Amerindian girls from the interior trafficked to coastal areas to engage in prostitution and involuntary domestic servitude. Girls promised employment as domestics, waitresses, and bar attendants are trafficked into prostitution; young Amerindian men are exploited under forced labor conditions in timber camps. In some instances, victims are forcibly abducted. Guyanese girls and young women are trafficked for sexual exploitation to neighboring countries such as Suriname and Barbados.
The Government of Guyana does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. The government was one of the first in the Hemisphere to publish a review and self-assessment of its anti-trafficking efforts. The Government of Guyana also increased financial support for NGOs that provide victim assistance, expanded the reach of prevention activities, and began applying new laws to investigate and arrest suspected traffickers. The government should expand training efforts to include more rural officials, aggressively prosecute traffickers, and continue working with NGOs to assist victims.
Law enforcement efforts to identify cases improved, but no traffickers were convicted in 2005. The country's slow judicial process contributed to the lack of progress in convicting traffickers. Law enforcement authorities applied Guyana's newly enacted Combating of Trafficking in Persons Act and arrested at least 10 suspects under the Act. The Act requires sentences ranging from three years to life imprisonment and the confiscation of trafficking-related assets. Fifteen investigations of cases initiated in 2005 and previous years remained pending in pre-trial status. Rural court and law enforcement officers lacked adequate training to identify and deal effectively with trafficking. Technical training and sensitization efforts should be expanded to reach officials in rural areas where most trafficking occurs. Law enforcement officials worked with source and destination countries such as Brazil, Suriname, and Barbados to share information on potential trafficking and assist victims. There was no evidence of government officials complicit in trafficking.
The Government of Guyana made modest progress in victim assistance. It funded $30,000 of repairs for an NGO-run shelter to supplement the government's limited shelter capabilities, and included NGO funding assistance in its 2006 budget. There were no reports of victims jailed or mistreated by officials. Law enforcement officers referred victims to social workers and a local NGO for assistance. The government provided medical attention, housing, and funds to return victims to their homes.
The government expanded on prior prevention efforts. It trained social workers, launched a new awareness campaign via print and radio media, and met with key religious, business, mining, and local government stakeholders. Ten trafficking detection training sessions reached 361 community facilitators around the country. In January 2006, the government released a review of its counter-trafficking activities for 2004-2005, which recognized that better policing of and outreach to rural communities is still needed.