RET International Provides Standard Operations Procedure for Human Trafficking Shelters in Belize

RET International Provides Standard Operations Procedure for Human Trafficking Shelters in Belize

Belize is known to be a hot spot for human trafficking according to the Relief and Resilience through Education in Transition (RET International). Today in Belize City, RET International held a handing over of Standard Operations Procedure (SOP) for shelters that provide refuge to victims of human trafficking. Cherese Ferguson, Country Director of RET International explained that the goal moving forward is to collaborate with the Ministry of Human Development to offer proper awareness and ensure shelters continue to adopt the adequate SOP for victims.

Cherese Ferguson, Country Director, RET International: “So today we had the handing over of the standard operating procedures for shelters and other accommodations that provide service for trafficking in persons victims. The MOU that we signed with the Minister by extension the Ministry of Human Development is a commitment with that ministry to work collaboratively with each other in realizing the other activities in the project, the awareness campaign, the development of the coalition group and continued training of the SOPs because that’s the next step, the pledge that we’ve signed with the shelters is that their commitment to adopt this SOP and integrate it into their operations and to ensure that they provide the best quality services for victims of trafficking that they serve. Currently we have one that’s particularly or primarily for trafficking victims specialized only in trafficking and then we have two others that also provide services for victims of trafficking and victims of domestic violence.”

Dolores Balderamos Garcia, Minister of Human Development, Families, and Indigenous People’s Affairs, signed the pledge and commitment on behalf of the ministry. Garcia also came forth to express her excitement in collaboration with RET International. 

Dolores Balderamos Garcia, Minister of Human Development, Families and Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs: “First of all let me give all kudos today to RET International because they are the ones who promoted for us to sign these standard operating procedures for shelters and so its’ a good day because it is a day of all the partners coming together to say look if you’re going to have a shelter here whether it’s in Corozal, whether it’s in Toledo there will be procedures that are followed and it’s a good thing to get it right as I said in my remarks earlier. We need to get it right and if one shelter is offering a particular procedure or a particular set of services then another one should do the same. We’re all singing from the same hymn book so that it is a good thing that we are able to have these standard operating procedures.”

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