US, Jamaica Sign Agreement to Fight Child Trafficking

By Joshua Philipp, The Epoch Times
June 4, 2018 Updated: June 4, 2018

The United States pledged $4.5 million through a four-year Child Protection Compact (CPC) to help Jamaica establish a program to prevent child trafficking.

The CPC works with foreign governments to help reduce child trafficking by helping establish agreements and projects tailored to each country. According to the Jamaican government’s information services website, Jamaica is the fourth country selected for a CPC partnership, and the first in the Caribbean. The others are Ghana, Peru, and the Philippines.

The agreement was signed in Kingston, Jamaica on May 31 by Charge’ d’ Affaires Eric Khant of the U.S. Embassy in Kingston and by Marcia Gilbert-Roberts, the Jamaican permanent secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Ambassador.

Gilbert-Roberts said the agreement aims to prevent the trafficking of Jamaican children and at-risk youth. “One of the most valuable assets for the future of any country is its young people—our children,” she said.

Khant said, “The fight against human trafficking, or modern slavery, is a priority for the United States. This crime occurs in countries around the world—including the United States—and strong cooperation is essential to fight this scourge.”

He noted that in Jamaica, human trafficking takes many forms, and that “Child trafficking in particular has a devastating and lasting impact on children, undermines security and the rule of law, and is sometimes linked to organized crime or gang violence.”

“These crimes often remain hidden, occurring undetected within local communities,” Khant said. “Through the CPC partnership, we will work together to enhance the capacity of the government, civil society, and the public to identify, refer, and address these crimes.”

He said that, through the program, the United States is partnering with the Jamaican National Taskforce Against Trafficking in Persons (NATFATIP), its members, and public organizations to “work collaboratively to protect Jamaica’s children and defend its future.”

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