Antigua and Barbuda commended for improvement in addressing human trafficking

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Antigua and Barbuda has been commended as an example to other countries in how to effectively combat human trafficking.
Officials for the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons of the State Department in the United States congratulated Antigua and Barbuda for demonstrating the political will to stamp out human trafficking in a meeting with Antigua and Barbuda’s Ambassador to the United States, Sir Ronald Sanders.
The officials said that the office is pleased with the degree of progress that has been made by the country.
Responding to U.S. officials, Ambassador Sanders said that it was a policy of the Gaston Browne administration to purge Antigua and Barbuda of human trafficking and people who engage in the practice.
He also said that the Trafficking in Persons Committee in Antigua has performed admirably to improve Antigua and Barbuda’s situation by coordinating the efforts of several government offices, including the police force and immigration department.
He added that the Attorney General, Steadroy ‘Cutie’ Benjamin, has already taken steps to ensure that when the country is assessed again in 2019, it will move into Tier 1.
The U.S. officials provided some recommendations, which included developing a national action plan beyond 2018, establishing standard operating procedures for all government agencies and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to identify victims and refer them for attention.
They also recommended to the Ambassador, amending the anti-human trafficking law to increase the penalties for human trafficking, making them equal to those for other serious crimes, such as rape and kidnapping.
In its 2018 report on human trafficking, the U.S. State Department upgraded Antigua and Barbuda from the Tier 2 Watch List to Tier 2. There are four levels on the list with Tier 1 and Tier 2, being the best performers.

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