The Tourism Product Development Company Limited (TPDCo) has added another element to their training programme. The organization will be including information on human trafficking in their flagship “Team Jamaica” programme as well as other trainings offered by the organization.
A total of fourteen members of the TPDCo training unit completed the four day Train the Trainer course in “Trafficking in Persons”. The programme was coordinated by the Trafficking in Persons (TIP) division of the Ministry of Justice.
According to head of the TIP Vice Squad Deputy Superintendent (DSP) Carl Berry, the move is a progressive one for TPDCo and could potentially aid in the further development of the tourism sector.
“This (TPDCo) is the first civilian group to participate in a training of this kind, and with the impact of human trafficking on our nation and its people, it is necessary for such a labour intensive sector to be knowledgeable of the horrors of human trafficking and to take action. It is important for tourism workers to be mindful of not only how labour is sought, but even where and by whom their goods are prepared. There are children all over the world working in slave conditions, thereby making it necessary for us seek more information when importing items.”
Executive Director of TPDCo, Dr. Andrew Spencer who attended the graduation ceremony for the new cohort of trainers reiterated the need for TPDCo to live by its mandate.
“We are the organization ordained to develop and enhance our tourism sector; therefore our role is one that requires us to pay keen attention to the happenings in the sector. We are now charged with the responsibility to be the eyes and ears of the industry and to put all the amenities in place to ensure that our professionals are armed with the information as it relates to human trafficking.”
The anti-trafficking workshop is a move initiated by the Ministry of Tourism to increase awareness of human trafficking within the industry. At the end of the session, the TPDCo participants made a contribution of Fifty Thousand Dollars to the Woman Incorporated charity, which is a local organization that caters to women rescued from trafficking.