Home > Foreign Relations, Guyana, Local News > US TIP Report anecdotal and speculative – Minister Sukhai …lacks substantiated data

US TIP Report anecdotal and speculative – Minister Sukhai …lacks substantiated data

Amerindian Affairs Minister Pauline Sukhai

GEORGETOWN/ WASHINGTON –The US State Department refused to revise their Trafficking in Persons report which has placed Guyana on tier two for another year in this report and Amerindian Affairs Minister Pauline Sukhai has the report and the department’s refusal to revise it.

She said the report “does not present substantiated data but is based on anecdotal and speculative opinions,” since the investigations or study conducted on TIP and indigenous women were definitely done through stereotype lenses.

This, she said is highly objectionable since the credibility of the report is questionable.

The report labels Guyana as a “source country for men women and children subjected to trafficking in persons, specifically conditions of forced prostitution and forced labour.”

Tier 2 is a watch list with specific focus on indigenous women who are considered particularly vulnerable to human trafficking in Guyana.

According to Minister Sukhai the Ministry of Amerindian Affairs being the focal Ministry of indigenous development issues, provides services that address the range of social issues faced by Amerindians and therefore, the reference on indigenous women as a particularly vulnerable group to trafficking in persons and forced prostitution is inconsistent and contrary to what obtains in the country.

Indigenous people are firmly positioned in the mainstream of development in the country, as Government remains committed to dispensing resources towards the improvement of their living standards, she said.

The Minister noted that “the report inflicted severe wounds to the character of indigenous women and hurts the dignity of a proud people.”

Minister Sukhai emphasised the role of indigenous women in decision making at the highest levels and also in family and community development. Additionally, they are land and home owners, teachers and health workers, nurses, microscopists, social workers and mothers.

Contrary to the implications in the report that Government Officials discourage the development of effective strategies for combating what it terms ‘modern day slavery’, Minister Sukhai emphasised Government’s commitment to ensuring that the incidence of TIP is minimized through education and public awareness programmes that target all Guyanese.

Head of the Presidential Secretariat (HPS) Dr. Roger Luncheon at a media briefing on June 14 challenged the United States to sustain its criticism against Guyana in relation to (TIP) in a transparent manner with supporting data.

Dr. Luncheon noted that Government rejected the approach used by the US State Department to place Guyana on the tier 2 watch list and strongly denies the findings of the report.

Minister Manickchand at the same media briefing also renounced the findings in the report, stating that there is no evidence available by the US or Guyana to the effect that Guyana has a significant number of victims.

The US, she said has never asserted that Guyana’s non-compliance with minimum standards and its tier 2 rank were as a result of its failure to charge and/or prosecute persons who are alleged to have been involved in TIP but “it has always been because we fail to churn out mass numbers of prosecutions and convictions.” (GINA)

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