Haiti’s National Committee to Combat Trafficking in Persons will have the financial capacity to carry out its ambitious agenda, thanks to a commitment by the government to provide 20 million Haitian gourdes (about $185,000 USD) in financial support. It’s the first infusion of funding since the committee was created five years ago.
The committee’s job is critical to implementing Haiti’s anti-trafficking law, which was enacted in 2014. The committee’s mission is to coordinate anti-trafficking activities, prevent and combat trafficking in all its forms and guarantee the protection of survivors. The committee has created a national strategy and action plans, but will now have funding to carry out its initiatives.
“With this budget line allocated to the national committee, the Haitian government expresses in clear terms that the fight against human trafficking is an integral part of its action strategy for the respect of human rights,” Committee President André Ibréus tells Free the Slaves. “This amount, and the contribution of partners, will make it possible to come to the aid of people vulnerable to trafficking, particularly women and children.’’
Ibréus outlined eight areas where the funding will be used:
1) Hire lawyers to provide legal services to trafficking in person victims
2) Conduct an awareness-raising campaign, including billboards, radio and television broadcasts, T-shirts and leaflets
3) Train work inspectors, local authorities, and law enforcement at the borders on trafficking in person indicators
4) Design standard operating procedures for anti-trafficking work
5) Create a website and social media accounts
6) Establish a hotline
7) Document trafficking cases
8) Establish shelters for survivors
‘’It is with a feeling of joy that I welcome the news that the Haitian government is putting 20 million gourdes in the national budget for the committee,” says Jean Salomon, a former president of Free the Slaves partner ASR. “This gesture shows that the current government is aware of the problem of human trafficking and wants to fight it.”
ASR, Free the Slaves, and our partner Beyond Borders have advocated for years to enact Haiti’s against anti-trafficking law, and create and fund a committee to coordinate governmental action. Free the Slaves attends the committee’s meetings and its specialty working groups.
Learn more about child trafficking in Haiti and our work to end it on Haiti webpage.