|05KINGSTON576||2005-03-02 16:38:00||UNCLASSIFIED||Embassy Kingston|
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 07 KINGSTON 000576
1. This cable serves as Jamaica's contribution to the fifth
annual Anti-Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report.
Overview Of Anti-Tip Activities
2. Is the country a country of origin, transit or destination
for international trafficked men, women, or children?
Specify numbers for each group. Does the trafficking occur
within the country's borders? Does it occur in territory
outside of the government's control (e.g. in a civil war
situation)? Are any estimates or reliable numbers available
as to the extent or magnitude of the problem? Please include
any numbers of victims. What is (are) the source(s) of
available information on trafficking in persons? How
reliable are the numbers and these sources? Are certain
groups of persons more at risk of being trafficked (e.g.
women and children, boys versus girls, certain ethnic groups,
2A. Jamaica is suspected to be a country of primarily
internal trafficking of children for sexual exploitation.
The ILO estimated in 2001 that several hundred minors, both
boys and girls, are involved in Jamaica's sex trade, and that
child pornography involving trafficking victims is a concern
on the island. Jamaica is also a transit country for illegal
migrants moving to the U.S. and Canada, some of whom are
believed to be trafficking victims. In addition, Jamaica is
a destination for some foreign women working in local strip
clubs. Some of them are suspected to be trafficking victims.
3. Where are the persons trafficked from? Where are the
persons trafficked to?
3A. Victims of internal trafficking travel from rural areas
to urban and tourist centers, where they are thought to be
trafficked into prostitution. There is one documented case
abroad in which Jamaica was a country of origin for
trafficking. In January 2004, a U.S. federal jury convicted
a New Hampshire couple on charges including forced labor and
human trafficking. The victims, who were trafficked in 2000
and 2001, were four Jamaican citizens. Groups of women,
including those believed to be Dominican and Russian
nationals, travel to Jamaica to work in strip clubs. Their
working and living conditions are unknown, and some suspect
them to be trafficking victims.
4. Have there been any changes in the direction or extent of
4A. The problem does not appear to have been exacerbated in
the past year. Trafficking remains a low-level issue in
Jamaica, and one of which the general public is largely
unaware. Reports of trafficking activity are mostly
anecdotal, and are often based on suspicious activity that
appears to be consistent with trafficking.
5. Are any efforts or surveys planned or underway to document
the extent and nature of trafficking in the country? Is any
additional information available from such reports or surveys
that was not available last year?
5A. There is no additional trafficking information available
from reports or surveys published in the past year. However,
international organizations and civil society groups have
undertaken efforts to document the extent and nature of
trafficking in Jamaica. The International Organization for
Migration (IOM) has prepared a report, based on primary
source information, that is in the final stages of approval
and will be published in March 2005. People's Action for
Community Transformation (PACT), an NGO funded by USAID,
works with local women and children to educate them on the
risks of sexual exploitation and human trafficking. PACT
documents individual interviews with each incoming program
participant, and expects to prepare a research study based on
this information. Additionally, the Child Development Agency
is recruiting 60 field officers to be hired and deployed
across the country. Reporting from these officers is
expected to provide valuable insight into trafficking
6. If the country is a destination point for trafficked
victims: What kind of conditions are the victims trafficked
into? Are they forced to work in sweatshops, agriculture,
restaurants, construction sites, prostitution, nude dancing,
domestic servitude, begging, or other forms of labor,
exploitation, or services? What methods are used to ensure
their compliance? Are the victims subject to violence,
threats, withholding of their documents, debt bondage, etc.?
6A. Trafficking is suspected primarily in cases of nude
dancing and sexual exploitation (see paragraph 2A).
7. If the country is a country of origin: Which populations
do the traffickers target? Who are the traffickers? What
methods are used to approach victims? (Are they offered
lucrative jobs, sold by their families, approached by friends
of friends, etc.?) What methods are used to move the victims
(e.g., are false documents being used)?
7A. In the case of four Jamaicans trafficked to the U.S. in
2000 and 2001 for labor exploitation, the traffickers came to
Jamaica to recruit the men personally. The men were offered
work in the U.S. as part of the H-2B temporary worker
program, in which thousands of Jamaicans participate
annually. Those typically recruited for this program are
often unskilled and unemployed.
8. Is there political will at the highest levels of
government to combat trafficking in persons? Is the
government making a good faith effort to seriously address
trafficking? Is there a willingness to take action against
government officials linked to TIP? In broad terms, what
resources is the host government devoting to combating
trafficking in persons (in terms of prevention, protection,
8A. The Government of Jamaica has called at least one
high-level meeting, attended by two cabinet-level ministers
and high-ranking law enforcement officials, to address
trafficking in persons. Government agencies are making good
faith efforts, in the face of serious resource constraints,
to combat the trafficking problem. Notably, the Ministry of
Health's Bureau of Women's Affairs and the Child Development
Agency, which is tasked specifically with the enforcement of
the Child Care and Protection Act, are actively pursuing
programs to identify and prevent cases of trafficking. For
example, these groups, as well as immigration and law
enforcement officers from the Ministry of National Security,
have participated in anti-trafficking workshops hosted by IOM
and OAS. The Child Development Agency is working closely
with UNICEF to hold training courses on the implementation of
the Child Care and Protection Act (see paragraph 19A).
9. Do governmental authorities or individual members of
government forces facilitate or condone trafficking, or are
they otherwise complicit in such activities? If so, at what
levels? Do government authorities (such as customs, border
guards, immigration officials, labor inspectors, local
police, or others) receive bribes from traffickers or
otherwise assist in their operations? What punitive
measures, if any, have been taken against those individuals
complicit or involved in trafficking? Please provide
numbers, as applicable, of government officials involved,
accused, investigated, prosecuted, convicted and sentenced.
9A. Corruption is a serious problem in Jamaica at all levels
of government, and the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) is
not generally effective in law enforcement. However, no
authorities have been known to facilitate trafficking. Given
the low level of public information on the issue, a lack of
awareness may be as likely as corruption to cause local
authorities to be complicit in or to condone trafficking
activities. To address this, members of the Jamaica
Constabulary Force (JCF) are being trained on the rights of
the child as provided for in the Child Care and Protection
Act, and immigration officials now have the use of a
passenger entry and exit system to enhance efforts to detect
10. What are the limitations on the government's ability to
address this problem in practice? For example, is funding
for police or other institutions inadequate? Is overall
corruption a problem? Does the government lack the resources
to aid victims?
10A. The government is hampered in its efforts to combat
trafficking by insufficient resources and competing
priorities. Staffing and funding are inadequate for the
police force and the judiciary, and corruption is widespread.
Violent crime is at its highest rate in the country's
history. Human rights groups identified systematically poor
investigative procedures and weak oversight mechanisms within
the police force. However, there are existing resources that
could serve to aid trafficking victims: the Bureau of Women's
Affairs maintains a network of shelters, and the Child
Development Agency maintains children's &places of safety8
across the country.
11. To what extent does the government systematically monitor
its anti-trafficking efforts (on all fronts -- prosecution,
prevention and victim protection) and periodically make
available, publicly or privately and directly or through
regional/international organizations, its assessments of
these anti-trafficking efforts?
11A. The government does not systematically monitor levels of
trafficking activity in the country or its own
anti-trafficking efforts. The Bureau of Women's Affairs and
the Child Development Agency are aware and supportive of the
activities undertaken by civil society groups and
international organizations to prevent trafficking and to
identify and assist victims. The government has indicated
that it will appoint a single representative or body to
coordinate all anti-trafficking activities, although this
position has not yet been filled.
12. Is prostitution legalized or decriminalized?
Specifically, are the activities of the prostitute
criminalized? Are the activities of the brothel
owner/operator, clients, pimps, and enforcers criminalized?
If prostitution is legal and regulated, what is the legal
minimum age for this activity?
12A. Prostitution is illegal, and the activities of the
prostitute and the client are criminalized.
13. Does the government acknowledge that trafficking is a
problem in that country? If no, why not?
13A. The Government of Jamaica has officially accepted that
it has a trafficking problem, and offers no resistance in
moving forward to address the problem and prevent it from
worsening. Certain agencies within the government, notably
the Bureau of Women's Affairs and the Child Development
Agency, have begun to combat trafficking on a working level.
However, due primarily to the very low visibility and
awareness on what is locally considered to be a relatively
new issue, it is common for many Jamaicans to deny that there
is any trafficking problem, and to dismiss any existing
evidence as anecdotal.
14. Which government agencies are involved in
14A. The Bureau of Women's Affairs, which is a part of the
Ministry of Health, is actively involved in anti-trafficking
efforts. The Child Development Agency, created in 2004 as an
executive agency, is tasked with the implementation of the
Child Care and Protection Act, and is also actively involved.
Some immigration officers and members of the police force
have attended anti-trafficking seminars hosted by IOM.
Various other members of government, including the minister
of health, the minister of development, and a senior law
enforcement official, held a meeting in 2004 to discuss the
15. Are there or have there been government-run
anti-trafficking public information or public education
campaigns? If so, briefly describe the campaign(s),
including their objectives and effectiveness. Do these
campaigns target potential trafficking victims and/or the
demand for trafficking (e.g. "clients" of prostitutes or
beneficiaries of forced labor).
15A. The government has run training programs to educate
certain groups on the rights of the child. However, there
has not been a public education campaign focused specifically
16. Does the government support other programs to prevent
trafficking? (e.g., to promote women's participation in
economic decision-making or efforts to keep children in
school.) Please explain.
16A. The Bureau of Women's Affairs and the Child Development
Agency actively promote the rights of women and children, and
encourage their participation in community activities and
civil society programs that reduce their vulnerability and
the risk of falling victim to exploitation. The Ministry of
Education, in particular, focuses on programs that maintain a
high level of enrollment in schools.
17. Is the government able to support prevention programs?
17A. The government is severely resource-constrained (see
paragraph 10A). While willing to support prevention
programs, the government seeks financial assistance to be
able to do so.
18. What is the relationship between government officials,
NGOs, other relevant organizations and other elements of
civil society on the trafficking issue?
18A. The government welcomes efforts on the part of NGOs and
other organizations to combat trafficking, and works closely
with many of them. Because the government is under-resourced
and faces competing priorities like violent crime and
corruption, civil society groups are often better equipped to
combat trafficking. Notably, the government works with IOM
and UNICEF, among other groups, to combat trafficking.
19. Does the government adequately monitor its borders? Does
it monitor immigration and emigration patterns for evidence
of trafficking? Do law enforcement agencies respond
appropriately to such evidence?
19A. In November 2004, the government instituted a border
security and migration management system to monitor all
international arrivals and departures at international
airports and seaports. By enabling immigration officials to
detect fraudulent documents and analyze migration patterns,
the system assists officials to identify incidents of illegal
migration and human trafficking. The project also includes
important training components, including seminars on human
20. Is there a mechanism for coordination and communication
between various agencies, such as a multi-agency working
group or a task force? Does the government have a
trafficking in persons task force? Does the government have
a public corruption task force?
20A. The government has held at least one high-level meeting,
chaired by a cabinet minister, to specifically discuss the
trafficking problem. The meeting, called by the minister of
development, included the minister of health, an assistant
commissioner of police, and representatives of at least three
other agencies. Since then, the government has reported that
a committee on trafficking is to be formed, but has not yet
convened its first meeting. The government has also
expressed an interest in a proposal by IOM to create a
specialized anti-trafficking unit within the Ministry of
National Security, pending funding for the project. The
government established a Corruption Prevention Commission in
21. Does the government coordinate with or participate in
multinational or international working groups or efforts to
prevent, monitor, or control trafficking?
21A. No, the government is not involved in international
anti-TIP working groups.
22. Does the government have a national plan of action to
address trafficking in persons? If so, which agencies were
involved in developing it? Were NGOs consulted in the
process? What steps has the government taken to disseminate
the action plan?
22A. No, the government has not implemented a national plan
23. Is there some entity or person responsible for developing
anti-trafficking programs within the government?
24A. The government has reported that it will assign a single
entity, probably within the Ministry of National Security, to
be responsible for coordinating anti-trafficking efforts,
including monitoring cases and developing programs. This
position has not yet been filled. The Child Development
Agency, in accordance with the 2004 Child Care and Protection
Act, will establish a Children's Advocate Office and a
Children's Registry. Both have a mandate broader than
trafficking, but will aid in identifying trafficking cases
and the development of anti-trafficking programs.
Investigation And Prosecution Of Traffickers
25. Does the country have a law specifically prohibiting
trafficking in persons--both trafficking for sexual
exploitation and trafficking for non-sexual purposes (e.g.
forced labor)? If so, what is the law? Does the law(s) cover
both internal and external (transnational) forms of
trafficking? If not, under what other laws can traffickers be
prosecuted? For example, are there laws against slavery or
the exploitation of prostitution by means of coercion or
fraud? Are these other laws being used in trafficking cases?
Are these laws, taken together, adequate to cover the full
scope of trafficking in persons?
25A. There is no law specifically prohibiting trafficking in
persons, but traffickers could be prosecuted for abduction,
exploitation of prostitution by threats or fraud, or
violating immigration law. Kidnapping and abduction laws
appear to be adequate to cover trafficking in persons. The
Child Care and Protection Act, implemented in 2004, prohibits
the sale or trafficking of children. Otherwise, no new
legislation affecting trafficking has been enacted since last
26. What are the penalties for traffickers of people for
sexual exploitation? For traffickers of people for labor
26A. The penalties for the sale and trafficking of children
are defined in the Child Care and Protection Act: a fine
and/or a maximum of 10 years imprisonment with hard labor.
Exploiting prostitution through threat of fraud carries a
prison term of three years, and abduction carries a sentence
of anywhere from five years to life imprisonment.
27. What are the penalties for rape or forcible sexual
assault? How do they compare to the penalty for sex
27A. Under the Offences Against the Person Act, rape is a
felony punishable by life imprisonment. Attempted rape
"armed with a dangerous or offensive weapon" carries a
maximum sentence of 10 years. Unarmed attempted rape carries
a penalty of seven years.
28. Has the Government prosecuted any cases against
traffickers? If so, provide numbers of investigations,
prosecutions, convictions, and sentences, including details
on plea bargains and fines, if relevant and available. Are
the traffickers serving the time sentenced: If no, why not?
Please indicate whether the government can provide this
information, and if not, why not? (Note: complete answers to
this section are essential. End Note)
28A. The government has not prosecuted any cases against
29. Is there any information or reports of who is behind the
trafficking? For example, are the traffickers freelance
operators, small crime groups, and/or large international
organized crime syndicates? Are employment, travel and
tourism agencies or marriage brokers fronting for traffickers
or crime groups to traffic individuals? Are government
officials involved? Are there any reports on where profits
from trafficking in persons are being channeled? (e.g. armed
groups, terrorist organizations, judges, banks, etc.)
29A. There is no information or reports on trafficking to
determine who is behind it. Owners of local go-go clubs and
strip clubs are suspected.
30. Does the government actively investigate cases of
trafficking? (Again, the focus should be on trafficking
cases versus migrant smuggling cases.) Does the government
use active investigative techniques in trafficking in persons
investigations? To the extent possible under domestic law,
are techniques such as electronic surveillance, undercover
operations, and mitigated punishment or immunity for
cooperating suspects used by the government? Does the
criminal procedure code or other laws prohibit the police
from engaging in covert operations?
30A. There have not been any active investigations into
trafficking on the part of law enforcement agencies.
31. Does the government provide any specialized training for
government officials in how to recognize, investigate, and
prosecute instances of trafficking?
31A. The government, in conjunction with UNICEF, has provided
law enforcement officers and childcare professionals with
training courses on the Child Care and Protection Act, which
includes a prohibition against trafficking. The government
has also participated in training workshops hosted by IOM and
32. Does the government cooperate with other governments in
the investigation and prosecution of trafficking cases? If
possible, can post provide the number of cooperative
international investigations on trafficking?
32A. The only international investigation of which post is
aware is the 2000-2001 case prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney
in the district of New Hampshire. It is likely that the case
involved a degree of international cooperation.
33. Does the government extradite persons who are charged
with trafficking in other countries? If so, can post provide
the number of traffickers extradited? Does the government
extradite its own nationals charged with such offenses? If
not, is the government prohibited by law form extraditing its
own nationals? If so, what is the government doing to modify
its laws to permit the extradition of its own nationals?
33A. Jamaica maintains an extradition agreement with the
34. Is there evidence of government involvement in or
tolerance of trafficking, on a local or institutional level?
If so, please explain in detail.
34A. No, but there may be some complicity (see paragraph 9A).
35. If government officials are involved in trafficking, what
steps has the government taken to end such participation?
Have any government officials been prosecuted for involvement
in trafficking or trafficking- related corruption? Have any
been convicted? What actual sentence was imposed? Please
provide specific numbers, if available.
35A. There is some concern that corrupt immigration officials
may facilitate the unauthorized international movement of
people. However, the government's new computerized
entry/exit system should address this problem (see paragraph
36. If the country has an identified child sex tourism
problem (as source or destination), how many foreign
pedophiles has the government prosecuted or
deported/extradited to their country of origin? Does the
country's child sexual abuse laws have extraterritorial
coverage (like the U.S. PROTECT Act)?
36A. Jamaica does not have an identified child sex tourism
37. Has the government signed, ratified, and/or taken steps
to implement the following international instruments? Please
provide the date of signature/ratification if appropriate.
-- ILO Convention 182 concerning the prohibition and
immediate action for the elimination of the worst forms of
child labor: Ratified 13 October 2003.
--ILO Convention 29 and 105 on forced or compulsory labor:
Ratified 26 December 1962.
--The Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of
the Child (CRC) on the sale of children, child prostitution,
and child pornography: Signed 8 September 2000.
--The Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in
Persons, especially Women and Children, supplementing the UN
Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime: Signed 13
Protection And Assistance To Victims
38. Does the government assist victims, for example, by
providing temporary to permanent residency status, relief
from deportation, shelter and access to legal, medical and
psychological services? If so, please explain. Does the
country have victim care and victim health care facilities?
If so, can post provide the number of victims placed in these
38A. The government and civil society groups are equipped to
provide assistance to trafficking victims. The government
does not fund shelters specifically for trafficking victims,
but the Bureau of Women's Affairs operates shelters for
women, and the Child Development Agency operates &places of
safety8 for at-risk children. NGOs operate programs to
assist at-risk youth through vocational training and job
39. Does the government provide funding or other forms of
support to foreign or domestic NGOs for services to victims?
39A. The government works closely with several NGOs, local
and domestic, that help to protect the country's women and
children from exploitation. The government has, in the past,
provided funding directly to NGOs, but now offers more
indirect support by negotiating funding from other sources.
40. Is there a screening and referral process in place, when
appropriate, to transfer victims detained, arrested or placed
in protective custody by law enforcement authorities to NGO's
that provide short- or long-term care?
40A. Such a process is not in place; no victims have been
detained, arrested, or placed in protective custody.
41. Are the rights of victims respected, or are victims also
treated as criminals? Are victims detained, jailed, or
deported? If detained or jailed, for how long? Are victims
fined? Are victims prosecuted for violations of other laws,
such as those governing immigration or prostitution?
41A. Not applicable; no victims have been detained, jailed,
42. Does the government encourage victims to assist in the
investigation and prosecution of trafficking? Can victims
file civil suits or seek legal action against the
traffickers? Does anyone impede the victims' access to such
legal redress? If a victim is a material witness in a court
case against the former employer, is the victim permitted to
obtain other employment or to leave the country? Is there a
victim restitution program?
42A. Not applicable; no traffickers have been prosecuted.
43. What kind of protection is the government able to provide
for victims and witnesses? Does it provide these protections
in practice? How many shelters does the government run or
fund (in full or in part)? How much funding does the
government provide for shelters?
43A. The government does not fund shelters specifically for
trafficking victims, but the Bureau of Women's Affairs
operates shelters for women, and the Child Development Agency
operates &places of safety8 for at-risk children.
44. Does the government provide any specialized training for
government officials in recognizing trafficking and in the
provision of assistance to trafficked victims, including the
special needs of trafficked children? Does the government
provide training on protection and assistance to its
embassies and consulates in foreign countries that are
destination or transit countries? Does it urge those
embassies and consulates to develop ongoing relationships
with NGOs that serve trafficked victims?
44A. Government officials have attended four training
sessions in the past year that were hosted by IOM. In
addition, the government has begun to train officials,
including in law enforcement agencies, on the rights of
children as defined by the 2004 Child Care and Protection
Act. The training and technical expertise are provided by
45. Does the government provide assistance, such as medical
aid, shelter, or financial help, to its repatriated nationals
who are victims of trafficking?
45A. There is only one case on record, in 2000-2001, in which
Jamaican nationals were identified as victims of
international trafficking. The treatment and status of these
victims in Jamaica is unknown.
46. Which international organizations or NGOs, if any, work
with trafficking victims? What type of services do they
provide? What sort of cooperation do they receive from local
46A. Several NGOs have begun to work with young women and
children to educate them about the risks of sexual
exploitation. People's Action for Community Transformation
is a USAID-funded membership organization with partners
throughout the country that offer numeracy, literacy, and
vocational training programs and job placement to prevent
vulnerable people from falling victim to trafficking and
exploitation. Other groups operating similar programs
include the Western Society for the Upliftment of Children,
Children First, North Street United Church, and Church Action
Negril. Local authorities encourage these activities.
47. The principal drafter for this year's TIP Report for
Jamaica is Political Officer, Geoff Siebengartner.