Some 131 women have been trafficked between January and June 2019.This was revealed by the Public Security Minister, Khemraj Ramjattan, who during remarks at the opening of a one-day training session for education personnel on Trafficking in Persons (TIP), said that the victims were from 18 reported cases of TIP.Slavery – Human TraffickingThese cases, according to the Minister, stemmed from Regions Two (Pomeroon-Supenaam), Three (Essequibo Islands-West Demerara), Four (Demerara- Mahaica) and Seven (Cuyuni-Mazaruni). He added that sadly, these women were being trafficked mostly for the purpose of smuggling drugs, prostitution, and even forced labour.The Minister was keen to note that Indigenous persons are more at risk of being trafficked because of their vulnerability.He, nevertheless, added that the risk of human trafficking remains a real concern for all parts of Guyana.On this note, the importance of the training for education personnel, inclusive of welfare officers and guidance counsellors, was underscored.The facilitator of the training session, Daniel Griffith, explained the reason for the training of these officers.“We recognise that anyone can become a victim, including adolescents, hence the need for this training. In essence, this training today will primarily be aimed at equipping guidance counsellors and welfare officers with the working knowledge on Trafficking in Persons, victim identification, assistance and referrals,” Griffith said.ProsecutionMost victims of human trafficking, when rescued, often long to meet their families. This urge often gets in the way of prosecution, given that Guyana’s judicial system generally takes a while to handle such cases.This was pointed out by Ramjattan on the side-lines of the event. He explained, “When the trails come on it’s very difficult. We are trying to have a witness protection thing so that we can keep them in Guyana, but it is very costly because sometimes the cases take years”.When it comes to dealing with such cases in a timely manner, the subject Minister admitted that the country “needs to step up its game”.One alternative, he said, is for witnesses to “Skype” their testimonies to aid in prosecuting the perpetrators.Last year, Guyana recorded 156 cases of TIP, which already does not spell well for the country, with 131 cases already recorded.The growing phenomena is the second most profitable illegal business in the country, with drugs taking the lead spot.Just in March, the owner of Love Bar, Savita Persaud, was remanded to prison for unlawfully recruiting and transporting Venezuelans for sexual exploitation.The defendant was also slapped with two counts of Trafficking in Persons during the same period. Additionally, she was charged with employing a child on a property that sells liquor.Attorney George Thomas, in a bail submission, told the Court that his client rented the property to the Venezuelans and is innocent of the trafficking accusations.However, the Prosecutor opposed bail on the grounds of the serious nature, prevalence and the penalty that the offence attracts.
It would behoove Romer and the school board members to put their egos aside and consider what’s best for the future of education in the LAUSD. Villaraigosa has the will of the people on his side, while school district governance has a tarnished image in the public’s eye. Romer and LAUSD officials can either help and guide the reformation of the district, or they can force a fight. But, in the end, war is not the answer to school reform.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! After months of mustering their forces, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, the City Council and City Controller Laura Chick this week drew the battle lines in their bid to exert some oversight on governance of the Los Angeles Unified School District. The challenge issued to LAUSD Superintendent Roy Romer and the school board was to accept a city audit of the district – or expect city leaders to go over school officials’ heads to state lawmakers. The “or else” proved a real threat on Wednesday, when state Assemblyman Keith Richman, R-Granada Hills, said he would sponsor LAUSD-reorganization legislation next year that would give the mayor more authority over schools. Not surprisingly, LAUSD’s Romer reacted with a challenge of his own: Go ahead and try. This first skirmish in what is sure to be a political war over control of Los Angeles’ failing schools has been long in coming. During his mayoral campaign early in the year, Villaraigosa made it clear that school reform would be at the top of his agenda, despite the fact that the city has no authority over how the school district is run. Villaraigosa’s position was good news to parents unhappy with years of the bloated bureaucracy that has a stranglehold on teacher energy and parental involvement. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORERose Parade grand marshal Rita Moreno talks New Year’s Day outfit and ‘West Side Story’ remake Romer’s pugilistic reaction – and his feigned surprise at action by Villaraigosa and Chick – will serve only to inflame the fight. Romer is right to tout his accomplishments so far – a massive school building project and improvements in student test scores. But the district still has a dreary list of persistent problems: a 50 percent dropout rate, test scores still below state and national standards, a joke of an oversight committee that can’t be trusted to make sure the $18 billion for the school-construction plan is spent wisely, and serious questions about management and contracting. Nor does it help the LAUSD’s credibility that district officials forced their only publicly credible person, Inspector General Don Mullinax, out of his muckraking position. Nobody has faith in the district anymore. Romer’s defensiveness, while understandable, is a mistake. First of all, fighting city leaders to prevent an audit by Chick appears to be a losing battle that creates an impression that district officials have something to hide. More importantly, a full-blown political war between school and city governments won’t serve anyone. Besides, considering the relationship Romer has had with the LAUSD board in recent years, one would think he might secretly favor an arrangement that gives the city oversight in how the district operates.