The views expressed in this article are those of the writer and not necessarily those of Breaking Belize News.
By anonymous Belize Social Justice Advocate :Human Trafficking in Belize has continuously been ranked as Tier 3 for the past 3 terms under the current political scenery with limited to no avail of being alleviated to a Tier 1 position by US counterparts responsible for the global response to Human Trafficking. With limited information on the situation in Belize, many speculations of complicity by government officials and guardians of justice has complicated the response to improve and eliminate trafficking in all its forms in Belize. The integrity of offices and agents that are responsible for the protection and care of victims of human trafficking, such as the police department and rogue immigration representatives in key decision making spaces for Human Trafficking in Belize, has been swept under the rug by profiled individuals either perceived fearful or complicit in perpetuating such injustices is a recurrent theme across management of the council responsible for the protection of all citizens that are in the country of Belize. Coupled with complications of working with credible Non-governmental organization and “bird boxing” of new and emerging resources and technical capacities to address these challenges has been some of the major downfalls of the agency responsible for the response.
Of course some good deeds have been reported under the council for trafficking in Belize but most are extraneous to the realities of victims and are extremely insufficient in evidence collection and case management and follow-ups to ensure prosecution under the Trafficking in Persons Act of Belize. Piggy backing on the hard work of regional partners and preexisting entities to bolster an image of doing and action is not acting! It’s simply being complacent and unresponsive. As the country plummets into territorial disputes and financial crisis, the ambiguous funding not allocated but sourced to address the many demands and injustices in human trafficking is a sign of the commitment of the government and their carefully unskilled selection of representatives identified by random selection of available technical resources, which is projected to have a higher negative impact on their national address.
The secrecy of how the council operates is expected, as all Human Trafficking responses globally are not free from the fact of internal breaches but with ensuring integrity of offices, this can be easily steered into the right direction.
The recent charges levied in the post 2018 reporting period may bolster the placement in the 2019 JTIP report but does not secure the necessary approaches and pressures the top down institution embodies. With a prosecution office that has some severe delayed responses to cases due to internal challenges with the police department and their evidence collection strategies, this would leave outsiders to think that there’s a critical point of disharmony and untimely address which challenges the prosecution of perpetuators who in Belize have a high rate of being let go or nonexistent perps in cases with just the victims left to experience the turmoil of experiencing the grave human rights violation, which is world renown as Human Trafficking.
It is clear that Belize has a series of challenges to overcome and it is time its citizens demand transparent processes and social justice for persons who enter the country. Simply relying on their leaders and council is not a resolute solution to end human trafficking in its many forms. So as the country gears up to scribe their report for 2019 JTIP, flood their reporting office with letters of concern and demand that social justice be up-kept, holding those accountable to end trafficking in Belize and ensuring that Belize is a safer place for all its citizens.