Human Trafficking Council says effort has been constant
The report observes other inadequacies in government’s efforts to combat human trafficking, claiming that authorities failed to protect victims of human trafficking while in Belize, and also failed to safely repatriate victims. It is an outright condemnation of the government, but more so the Human Trafficking Council which is the front line operational committee. Alpuche rebutted the observations in the report, stating that the effort has been constant even if the US State Department is not seeing all the flashing lights. And while she stopped short of saying it, Alpuche is convinced that the condemnation of human trafficking efforts is actually meant to convey condemnation of human smuggling practices in view of the ongoing immigration scandal and rampant corruption in that sector.
Via Phone: Judith Alpuche, C.E.O., Ministry of Human Development
“I’m really unsure where all of this is coming from. I don’t know if it is maybe there are other things that are manifested in this Human Trafficking Report. Maybe it’s a way of dealing with other things. I’m unsure and I will say that. I am unsure whether or not this Human Trafficking report is really showing some other issues maybe that this is the only way that those matters can be raised or can be dealt with. But the Council will keep on keeping on. We do what we do not because of any report or expecting any accolades from anybody, but because it is the right thing to do. The people on the Council have their plates full with all sorts of other things. All public officers…the people from the N.G.O. community that are on the council have their plates full to overflowing but they’re still very much interested and dedicated to this issue because it is an issue where we don’t think that in our society there should be space for slavery. That is something abhorrent and not something that we want at all in our society. And so we keep on keeping on despite what anybody has to say.”
The report also makes the startling claim that, “child sex tourism, involving primarily US citizens, is an emerging trend in Belize.”