Former top cop and leader of the National Transformation Alliance, Gary Griffith, says the Keith Rowley led government must take full responsibility for the US Trafficking in Persons 2022 Report which places Trinidad and Tobago on a Tier 2 Human Trafficking Watch List.
In a social media post, Griffith said he notes the continued trend of Prime Minister Keith Rowley to engage in the blame game in an attempt to deflect from the fact that after 8 years in office, his administration has to carry some blame.
Griffith said it is possible to have an upgraded rating, because in 2014, when he was Minister of National Security, he was able to improve our status from Tier 2 Human Trafficking Watch List to Tier 2 (The grading being from Tier 3 to Tier 2 Watch List to Tier 2 and then to Tier 1), with the 2014 US Trafficking in persons report commending Trinidad and Tobago for, “making significant efforts in the fight against human trafficking.” The report went on to acknowledge the success of the following things.
* Establishment of the Child Protection Unit (CPU).
* Strengthening of the Counter Trafficking Unit (CTU) which spearheaded investigations and drafted standard operating procedures.
* Documentation of statements from most foreign victims prior to repatriation.
* Granting of temporary immigration relief to victims.
* Partnering with the International Organization for Migration (IOM) for the repatriation of identified victims.
* Funding of NGOs that provide care for victims.
* Investigation of twenty-two (22) cases of human trafficking.
* Identification of an increased number of victims (trafficked for forced labour and sexual exploitation) and referred said victims for care.
* Charges being laid against a number of suspected offenders for the first time under the TIP Act of 2011.
* Provision of multiple specialized anti-trafficking training sessions throughout the year.
* Drafting of a plan for National Awareness Campaign in partnership with NGOs.
* Re-igniting the Security Cooperation agreement between TNT, Venezuela and Colombia.
His post added:
A sad state of affairs of politics in this country, because after Gary Griffith was no longer Minister of National Security, we were then downgraded back to Tier 2 Human Trafficking Watch List, and in response, the politicians with the authority are spending more time trying to blame others, than to actually do their job.
So after 8 years and 3 Ministers of National Security, we advise Prime Minister Rowley to stop the finger pointing, appoint competent persons, take a page out of Gary Griffith’s book if you must, but most of all, focus on getting the job done.