US to Provide Funds to Counter Human Trafficking in Trinidad and Tobago

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Tuesday said it will provide up to one million dollars to support countering trafficking in persons (TIP) efforts in Trinidad and Tobago.

tttusNational Security Minister Fitzgerald Hinds (second from left front row) flanked by Chargé d’Affaires Shante Moore, USAID representative Clinton D. White and other US and Trinidad and Tobago officials (File Photo)It said that the assistance will focus on supporting the Trinidad and Tobago government to combat human trafficking while strengthening the support services offered by non-government and government agencies to better meet the needs of trafficking victims such as counselling, therapy, skills training, and social services support.

USAID’s assistance will be tailored to meet the priorities of the Keith Rowley administration’s TIP national action plan and the key recommendations from the US government’s 2021 Trafficking in Persons Report.

The announcement follows the September 17 meeting in Port of Spain between Minister of National Security Fitzgerald Hinds, U.S. Chargé d’Affaires Shante Moore, and Regional Representative of USAID/Eastern and Southern Caribbean Clinton D. White.

USAID said it will provide technical assistance to improve TIP data collection and reporting, integrate customized information technology tools and resources, and build capacity to strengthen intelligence gathering, investigation, and ultimately prosecution of TIP perpetrators.

Among the items discussed at the meeting was the option to provide an adviser to the Ministry of National Security to provide strategic advice in support of the government’s counter-trafficking efforts.

“To further advance the shared objective of strengthening the Government of Trinidad and Tobago’s institutional capacity to combat trafficking in persons, USAID’s programming will support and complement existing bilateral cooperation from the United States government,” said Moore.

White said USAID is looking forward to working with the government and supporting its efforts in addressing the scourge of human trafficking.

“We stand ready and committed to providing technical assistance and resources that will build the capacity of government and civil society institutions to tackle this crime,” he added.