St Vincent and the Grenadines are among other Caribbean countries that have remained on a Tier 2 list by the US.
This means that SVG did not “fully” met the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking, the US State Department said.
St Vincent and the Grenadines, which fell into the Tier 2 category, was complimented on making efforts to deal with TIP, including passing legislation that allowed authorities to screen for suspected traffickers and trafficking victims, increasing training to relevant government officials, increasing cooperation with foreign governments to combat trafficking, extending and updating the national action plan through 2020, and improving its public awareness campaigns.
“However, the Government did not meet the minimum standards in several key areas. Authorities have not prosecuted a trafficking case since 2015 and have never convicted a trafficker.
The Government’s anti-trafficking law, which allowed for fines in lieu of imprisonment, was not commensurate with penalties for other serious crimes. Government agencies cited a lack of resources for anti-trafficking efforts.”
Washington said the authorities in Nassau and Georgetown continued to demonstrate “serious and sustained efforts during the reporting period” and, as a result, the two Caribbean Community (Caricom) countries remained on Tier 1.
It said the efforts by the Bahamas included passing a national action plan, increasing funding for victim assistance and anti-trafficking prevention, elevating national anti-trafficking planning to the Office of the Prime Minister, and instituting an anti-trafficking course into the training curriculum of the Immigration Department.