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Jun 20, 2019

Belize Upgrade to Tier 2 in U.S. Department of State’s 2019 TIP Report

Belize is making progress in its fight against trafficking in persons and the U.S. Department of State has taken notice. In the 2019 U.S. Department of State’s Trafficking in Persons Report, Belize has been upgraded to tier two. According to the report, Belize has demonstrated notable improvements in victim services and strengthening the anti-trafficking police unit. While Belize does not fully meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking in persons, the report recognized the efforts made by the government over the last year.  Commissioner of Police Chester Williams says that those efforts were a collaborative work among several entities, including the Belize Police Department. 

 

Chester Williams

Chester Williams, Commissioner of Police

“I am much gratified that it happens under my command of the police department and I can tell you since I took command my office has been doing a lot in terms of addressing human trafficking. We have increased number of personnel working in the human trafficking office. We are in direct communication with the human trafficking institute. We are currently working on a new office space for the human trafficking personnel to be relocated and the office space will have secure interview rooms where persons who are victims of human trafficking will be able to be interviewed in a private room without other hearings the nature of the interview. We have mounted a number of investigations. It shows that with the good work we have been doing with Human Services and the Immigration Department because it is not only police- it is a multi agency approach and I think all the different agencies involved are doing their part to ensure that we move from tier three to tier two. We won’t celebrate yet. We want to see that it goes down even further. So there is still much more that needs to be done.”

 

The report assesses the anti-trafficking efforts of one hundred and eighty seven governments. This year’s theme was “the National Nature of Human Trafficking: Strengthening Government Responses and Dispelling Misperceptions.”


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