THE number of people reported missing in TT in the last five years and never found more than likely fell victim to human traffickers operating in the Caribbean region.
This is the view of the US-based Motivational Missionaries, an organisation touring secondary schools in the country and delivering lectures. Led by Alexa Oliva, the group yesterday spoke to students of Marabella North Secondary school.
On Monday, they warned students of Naparima College and ASJA Boys College, to be wary of who they associate with in social gatherings because human trafficking is on the rise.
Oliva said yesterday that case studies conducted in the Caribbean revealed that a thriving trade has developed in the region where people are being trafficked for sex, but most alarmingly, for their organs as well.
In an interview with Newsday before yesterday’s address to the students, Oliva told the Newsday that TT’s missing persons list is frightening and government and the appropriate agencies must educate the country more about human trafficking. She said, “This country is vulnerable to human trafficking. The State Department of the US has elevated Trinidad and Tobago to Tier 2. That means that you are not doing enough to educate the population about human trafficking and the various kinds.”
In the Caribbean region, she said, it seems that the primary target is children.
And while there has always been a fight at government level against the drug trade, human trafficking must be treated similarly, Oliva said, “Whilst government are involved in programmes against using drugs, they need to push the agenda of human trafficking at that same level.”