Saint Lucia — Saint Lucia, with the cooperation of the International Organization for Migration (IOM), has launched a hotline to combat human trafficking which has been described as a global problem.

The 24-hour hotline, 8-4-7, was launched here on Tuesday 22 January, to help bring public awareness on the issue.

 

Assistance Commissioner of Police for Crime and Intelligence Management, Wayne Charlery, explained how the system works:

“When a call is received by the officer attached to the police control room, the information will be immediately relayed to the Central Intelligence Unit for assessment, development, synthesis and then dissemination to myself or the assistant commissioner responsible for crime and intelligence management for the appropriate action,” he stated.

He said the hotline, with the assistance of the public, can be a very effective tool in combating the problem.

“The hotline is a toll-free, anonymous, 24-hours, seven-days-a-week service,” he stated. “We at the police department are very pleased and grateful to have contributed to the collaborative efforts of the service provider LIME, the Department of Home Affairs and National Security and the IOM for the installation of the counter in trafficking persons hotline.”

 

Meanwhile, National Security Minister, Senator Hermangild Francis said he has held discussions with the attorney general in regard to strengthening laws for those found guilty of human trafficking.

 

He said the days of thinking Saint Lucia was immune from such crimes are long gone.

“I believe those days of denying or thinking we are immune to this crime occurring here are long over,” he stated. “Wherever there are people, you will find some who are bent on criminality and unlawful means of enriching themselves.”

The anti-human trafficking campaign is being held in Saint Lucia under the theme “Know the Signs, See It, Report It.”

 

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