During the days of the trans-Atlantic slave trade, Caribbean islands were used as a major port of trade. The islands were also home to “seasoning camps” where newly arrived slaves were “broken in”—tortured into obedience, and taught skills and customs to make them more suitable to a life of plantation slavery.
While this particular slave trade has ended, reports say that a new trans-Atlantic slave trade is on the rise.
At a workshop on human trafficking taking place in Guyana, South America yesterday, Fernando Garcia-Robles, coordinator of the anti-trafficking unit of the Organisation of American States (OAS) said Caribbean countries are at the center of sex trafficking routes.
Garcia-Robles referred to a joint 2005 study, conducted by the OAS and International Organisation for Migration, saying, “Studies in the region have revealed that every year men but particularly women and girls are recruited, transported, marketed and purchased by individual buyers, traffickers and members of the transnational organized crime syndicates, who operate within Caribbean countries with the main purpose of sexually exploiting them.” (Quote via Stabroek News.)
Trafficking victims are moved within the region, and also brought to Europe, Asia, and other countries in the Americas.
The Caribbean region sees more migration than most other regions in the world. Millions of people visit the Caribbean every year as tourists. Added to this, Garcia-Robles said, the migration rate within the region is the highest in the world.