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Jan 23, 2018

Ambassador Talks Trafficking in Persons; Higher Rank for Belize Passports

Daniel Gutierrez

Speaking out on the issue of human trafficking recently is Belize’s Ambassador to the U.S. and permanent representative to the O.A.S., Daniel Gutierrez. This comes after the U.S. recently added Belize, along with Haiti and Samoa, to a list of nations not allowed to obtain temporary work visas of the H-Two-A and H-Two-B non-immigrant status.  These visas are for persons recruited by U.S. companies for agricultural work and seasonal work in places like hotels. Nearly three hundred of these were approved in 2017. Gutierrez reiterated the position of the Belize government that it has made some improvement in terms of judicial handling and investigation of alleged trafficking in persons. There is an assigned police unit for human trafficking cases, a special Supreme Court judge, a special magistrate, special personnel in the Attorney General’s Ministry and a special prosecutor. Additionally, says Gutierrez, there has been training of security forces and education campaigns. Gutierrez writes that while Belize’s arrest and conviction rate in regard to human trafficking mirrors other countries who have been given a better ranking, Belize remained on tier three at the last review and hopes to do better this time around. In related news, Belize is near the top fifty nations in the world in terms of how many countries holders of a Belize passport can travel to without needing a visa. As of the start of 2018, that figure is ninety-six, placing Belize fifty-fourth ahead of Ecuador and behind Georgia. The Global Passport Index was compiled by Henley and Partners using data from the International Air Transport Association (IATA), which maintains the world’s largest and most comprehensive database of travel information.

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1 Response for “Ambassador Talks Trafficking in Persons; Higher Rank for Belize Passports”

  1. concern says:

    There are two main players in the corozal north that are politically tied and involve in the smuggling ring. Why not investigate them?

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