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Rescuing of four teens from sexual slavery at mining camp just the tip of the iceberg – 26th Apr 2013

minersShadow Minister of Human Services, Volda Lawrence said, the recent removal of four young women from a mining camp in Puruni is just the tip of the iceberg as it relates to Trafficking in Persons within Guyana.

Lawrence said the opposition was advocating for Government’s recognition of the prevalence of Trafficking in Persons in Guyana’s interiors.

It was at the weekend that members of the Guyana Women’s Miners Organization rescued four young girls who were being kept against their will in Tiger Creek.

Lawrence said the incident should not be taken in isolation.

While the solution according to Lawrence will have to be a multi-sectoral approach, she explained that a critical element of it has to be the creation of jobs.

The US State Department in its 2012 Trafficking in Persons report, said that it wants Guyana to “vigorously and appropriately” investigate and prosecute forced prostitution and forced labour including Police, customs, and immigration officers complicit in trafficking.

However, the Government said they have been proactive in combating Trafficking in Persons since with the passage of the Combating Trafficking of Persons Act of 2005 in the National Assembly.

But according to Lawrence, the Act must be enforced if it is to have any effect.

The US State Department stated that the limited Government control of Guyana’s vast interior regions, combined with profits from gold mining and the prostitution that accompanies the industry provide conditions conducive for trafficking.

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