Belize Prepares to Observe World Day against Trafficking in Persons with Panel Discussion
On July 30, Belize will join with countries all over the world to celebrate World Day against Trafficking in Persons. The day will be observed under the theme, “Reach every trafficking victim, leave no one behind.” Ahead of the international observance, the Government of Belize teamed up with the International Organization for Migration (IOM Belize) to host a panel discussion on Human Trafficking and related issues. Ministry of Human Development, Families and Indigenous People’s Affairs and IOM hosted the event and gathered a broad base of stakeholders to join the discussions. Dylan Williams Director of the Policy and Planning Unit for the Ministry, sat as a panelist at the event to give the ministry’s perspective. He told Love News what the partner organizations hoped to achieve through the discussions.
Dylan Williams, Director Policy and Planning Unit, Ministry of Human Development: “The World Day Against Anti-Trafficking in Persons is celebrated every year in July and so the Ministry of Human Development, as the chair of the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Council, partnered with IOM the International Organization for Migration here in Belize to continue to create awareness around anti-trafficking in persons. And so the intent, of course, is that the forum one of the first in terms of that kind of space provided for persons from IOM as an international organization working in this area from civil society, the Child Development Foundation, we had a survivor of human trafficking, we had a mental health professional that really provided to the forum members an understanding of really the mental trauma and situations a person in terms of a survivor victim would go through and then of course from my end as the Ministry of Human Development really provided government perspective in terms of how we’re addressing some of the key or developing some of the key interventions and working with other government stakeholders in terms of addressing the issue of anti-trafficking in persons.”
Williams also gave insight into efforts that the Ministry of Human Development is making to address the issue of human trafficking nationally.
Dylan Williams, Director Policy and Planning Unit, Ministry of Human Development: “Really from the Ministry’s perspective when we’re looking at vulnerabilities of persons and how these vulnerabilities increase their chances of being a potential victim or a victim of trafficking in persons really those are the things that we’re trying to address. So specific to the ministry we’re focusing on for example working with our partners both national and international in terms of developing a social protection strategy. The social protection strategy involves also looking at vulnerable groups or populations such as migrant populations or populations that become vulnerable to trafficking. And so that is really part of the focus. Additionally looking at strengthening for example victim support for example through our various departments, working for example through the anti trafficking in persons council to strengthen that multi sectoral partnership with the police, customs, immigration, all of these various partners that really helps us to have a much stronger system of addressing the issue of human trafficking.”