The prosecution of perpetrators of human trafficking sends a strong signal to society about the position of the State and makes potential aggressors think hard"
Eugène Guillaume, Director of the BEST project funded by USAID and implemented by the Lumos Foundation
The National Committee to Combat Trafficking in Persons, an interministerial structure whose mission is to coordinate the fight against trafficking in persons in Haiti, jointly with the project Building a Solid Environment to Eradicate Trafficking in Persons (BEST_USAID implemented by the Lumos Foundation), conducted a training course on the investigation and prosecution of trafficking in persons for judicial actors in the jurisdictions of Port-au-Prince, Croix des Bouquets, Hinche and Fort-liberté. The CNLTP informs the spoken, written and televised press and the online media that at the end of the said training, Task Forces to Combat Trafficking in Persons were created.
The following speakers were at the event: Patrick Camille, Deputy Director, BEST Project, Magguy Florestal: Director of Studies, Ecole de la Magistrature and Judge at the Port-au-Prince Court of Appeal, Rod Khattabi: Chief Accountability Officer & Justice Initiative Director Grace Farms Foundation (former federal agent in the USA, specialist in setting up Task Forces on Trafficking) and André Ibréus: President of the CNLTP.
"This two-day training (18-19 June) aimed to foster synergy between judicial actors in order to prevent trafficking in persons, prosecute perpetrators and protect victims. It was an opportunity for us to present the various issues in the fight against human trafficking. The training also allowed judges, deans of courts and government commissioners to review the Anti-Human Trafficking Act to understand the scope of their investigative and prosecutorial powers and the legal provisions for the protection of victims." said André Ibréus, President of the CNLTP.
Eugène Guillaume, Director of the BEST project funded by USAID and implemented by the Lumos Foundation insisted on the need to prosecute the aggressors because this contributes to prevention. "The prosecution of perpetrators of human trafficking sends a strong signal to society about the position of the State and makes potential aggressors think hard," added Mr Guillaume.
The newly trained judicial actors grouped in the Task Force against Trafficking in Persons testified to the interest of this training.
For Vernet Simon, Dean of the Court of First Instance of Hinche, "the problem is real and crucial especially in the border region of Thomassique. We have already dealt with a first case of Trafficking (in persons). We are committed to continue to work towards the implementation of this law. We will take advantage of this synergy and this new dynamic," he promised.
"This is not the first time I have participated in training on trafficking in persons, but this time the level is a little more advanced. With this training, I can clearly see that I can reconsider certain offenses that have occurred in our jurisdiction. Indeed, some cases qualified as rapes contain elements similar to trafficking. I am in charge of sharing the information with the other investigating magistrates of Croix-des-Bouquets, especially the documents." said Investigating Magistrate Elismé Mesner.
"At the level of the Port-au-Prince Public Prosecutor's Office, this training is a new source of motivation. We are going to deal with cases related to human trafficking in accordance with the law," Jean Rolex Merove said.
Finally, questions relating to the power and strategy of the aggressors were also reviewed. The representatives of the various sectors welcomed the creation of the Task Forces to Combat Trafficking in Persons and pledged to work towards their effectiveness.
Port-au-Prince, 22 June 2020, Andre IBREUS, President of the CNLTP