EU, IOM donate high-level tools to the Jamaica constabulary force to improve human trafficking investigations

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) in collaboration with the European Union (EU), on Wednesday, 8 September 2021, handed over vital investigative equipment to the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF), to bolster human trafficking investigations. The event was held at the Counter Terrorism and Organized Crime Investigative Branch (C-TOC), downtown Kingston.

“Investigating trafficking in persons cases and having the necessary tools to enhance investigations are essential to an effective law enforcement response to Jamaica’s anti-trafficking efforts,” said Keisha Livermore, Head of the IOM Office in Jamaica. She added, “IOM and the EU are delighted to extend practical support to the work of the Government of Jamaica (GOJ) in the fight against trafficking in persons.”

In keeping with the mandate to fight the scourge of trafficking in persons, IOM, with funding from the EU, is implementing the Multi Country Border Security Project (MCBSP) in Jamaica, Haiti and the Dominican Republic, with the objective of raising awareness on this heinous crime, as well as providing support to anti-trafficking efforts in these countries.

During targeted discussions with the JCF, the IOM-EU team obtained information on the particular tools and gadgets that would enhance the JCF’s capacity to effectively investigate cases. The items procured include binoculars, camcorders, night vision goggles, key chain voice recorders, digital voice recorders, mini keychain video cameras, hidden camera glasses and flexible waterproof tripods.

“Human trafficking is oftentimes hidden in plain sight and criminal actors continue to find new and complex ways to deny citizens of their dignity and liberty. Citizen security is a top priority for the Government and the EU is pleased to be partnering with the IOM and JCF to bolster the country’s investigative resources, which we hope will translate into successful prosecutions,” said Fredrik Ekfeldt, Chargé d'affaires – Delegation of the European Union.

Assistant Commissioner of Police and Head of CTOC, Anthony McLaughlin, expressed gratitude to the IOM-EU team on behalf of the JCF. “We are very happy to receive these paraphernalia that will assist in the investigations and operations geared towards reducing trafficking in persons in Jamaica”, said ACP Mclaughlin.

Since 2003, the IOM has been working closely with the GOJ to prevent trafficking in persons as well as identify and assist victims of trafficking. At a broader level, there has been keen focus on pursuing criminal justice actions against perpetrators and facilitating national, regional and global partnerships among key stakeholders.

Date Publish: 
09/14/2021
Tags: 
jamaica

IOM, USAID to Provide 6,000 Scholarships for Young Salvadorans

Date Publish: 
19 / 11 / 2021

Zacatecoluca - More than 6,000 young Salvadorans will benefit from scholarships covering tuition and monthly fees, transportation subsidies, school supplies, support for skills development, job training, and formal employment possibilities through the Educational Opportunity Scholarships project launched last Wednesday November 17.

These incentives for young people to continue their studies will be channeled through the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology within its Gradual Educational Model for Technical and Technological Learning (MEGATEC) framework.

The program's coverage is nationwide. The academic offer includes technological management of cultural heritage, global logistics, electronics, computer engineering technician, computer hardware, tourism management and development, food technician, construction engineering technician, and others.

"Together with IOM, the U.S. Government, through USAID, will provide full scholarships and stipends for transportation and food for thousands of young people to successfully complete their studies at the Megatec centers in Zacatecoluca, Santa Ana, Ilobasco, Sonsonate, Chalatenango, and Morazán. They will obtain the skills and knowledge that will allow them to aspire to better jobs," said Jean Manes, Chargé d'Affaires of the U.S. Embassy in El Salvador.

With a total investment of USD 20 million, the implementation of this initiative is projected for the next four years. It seeks to strengthen strategies for sustainable reintegration of returned migrants, prevent risks associated with irregular migration and generate prosperity and hope in the lives of Salvadoran youth through equitable access to higher education options.

"Through education, I have learned to question the issues I am passionate about and to look for solutions," said Samuel Castaneda, a high school student and potential beneficiary of the program.

A study conducted by the Salvadoran Foundation for Economic and Social Development (FUSADES) in 6 municipalities of San Salvador and published in October 2021 revealed that over 50% of the surveyed population considering to leave their country in the next 12 months reports the search for better opportunities as their primary motivation to migrate.

"This scholarship program is an invaluable opportunity to demonstrate that investing in human development is the best response to prevent irregular migration and the risks inherent to it. Enhancing the skills and competencies of young people, increasing their self-esteem, and providing them with professional tools will allow them to make reasoned decisions in line with their life projects," said Nicola Graviano, IOM Chief of Mission in El Salvador.

The Educational Opportunity Scholarships project was presented las Wednesday November 17 in an event chaired by the Chargé d'Affaires of the United States in El Salvador, Jean Manes; the Chief of Mission of the IOM in El Salvador, Nicola Graviano; the Director of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), David Gosney; the Director of Planning of the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, José Mauricio Pineda, and the rector of ITCA-FEPADE, Elsy Escolar Santodomingo.

For more information please contact José Miguel Gómez at IOM El Salvador, Email: miggomez@iom.int, Tel: +503 7600 1784.