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Jan 31, 2018

U.S. Takes Action on Human Trafficking; No Progress in 3 Years

Adrienne Galanek

In respect to the suspension of U.S. visas for temporary workers that came on the heels of the Belize vote at the United Nations, the U.S. representative says that each country is assessed separately. In the region, there are countries that have had no success with convictions for human trafficking, but unlike Belize, have not been affected adversely. Belize has been on the tier three ranking in the Trafficking in Persons report by the United States for three consecutive years, which Adrienne Galanek says has resulted in the recent visa suspension.

 

Adrienne Galanek, Chargé d’Affaires, U.S. Embassy in Belize

“The legislation that is part of the TIP report has requirements within in and provisions within it for consequences for that tier three ranking. There’s a myriad of different consequences that could be taken. And Belize to date has received waivers and this is the first year that there was some consequences to the ranking. And so the H2H1 visas is one part of the implications for that ranking and so I urge the government and people of Belize to take trafficking in persons seriously.  No one denies that it is a problem here and so really to work together—not only the government, but the people of Belize too. If you see something, say something; if you see something in the community that’s not right, say something so that it can be properly addressed. But over the course of Belize’s ranking, there’s only been one conviction and so that speaks volumes to a holistic approach to trafficking in persons.”

 

Reporter

“In Barbados, there’s been none and they are at tier two.”

 

Adrienne Galanek

“We need to evaluate based on country’s performances individually because each country has separate circumstances and Belize has been on for three years. And really if you don’t have prosecutions or convictions, then where is your deterrence.”

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