Opposition MP accuses Govt of ignoring human trafficking

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Chaguanas West MP Dinesh Rambally – Photo courtesy Parliament

Chaguanas West MP Dinesh Rambally has accused the Government of turning a blind eye to human trafficking and said the administration has lost its moorings in good governance.

In a statement on Saturday, Rambally criticised the Prime Minister’s statements made in Parliament on Friday where he said there was a high case of sex trafficking and named Chaguanas as one of the areas where there was a high demand.

Rowley was responding to a question on the Coast Guard tragic shooting death of a one-year-old Venezuelan boy in a boat full of illegal migrants and called on the Opposition to “cease and desist” its verbal attacks.

In quoting a report from an independent Latin American publication named Insight Crime, he said “Demand for sex and prostitution in TT is being driven by a high rate of local consumption, especially in the borough of Chaguanas.”

Rowley urged the opposition to tackle the issue of prostitution as the first step in dealing with illegal migration.

Rambally said the PM referred to a report from 2021 yet failed to address it during the past years but was rather “content to politically shame certain areas of this country.”

“If Dr Rowley is himself convinced that the human trafficking situation is somehow dangerously linked to central Trinidad, as head of the National Security Council, how come he has never invited and/or instructed other Members of Parliament, including myself, to join in finding solutions of mitigation measures which would ease or eradicate human trafficking?” Rambally asked.

He said the PM conveniently highlighted other reports to make his administration look good yet continued to neglect the pertinent issue of human trafficking, which was not something new to TT.

Rambally said the Opposition has raised the matter over the years both in and out of Parliament and the situation was at an unacceptable level as he claimed locals were now being smuggled to other countries.

“What has Dr Rowley and his incompetent Government done to contain this plague? Absolutely nothing! Dr Rowley should tell the population what he has done in response to those alarming reports, of which he has noticed, to curb the alleged proliferation of prostitution in Chaguanas? Were any more personnel from the TTPS engaged to investigate and treat this scourge?

“As human trafficking persists (due to high sexual appetites of persons in Chaguanas as alleged by Dr Rowley) criminal networks grow stronger, and the public’s trust in the government grows weaker,” he said.

He called for an all-hands-on-deck approach to finding solutions as the international community watched on.

“While there are several approaches to be discussed moving forward, I wish to refer at this time to just one. There is an obvious nexus between sex trafficking and hotels.

“Recognising the links between this crime and the hotel industry (inclusive of guesthouses etc) is one critical area of concern and one which should be a subject of investigation,” he said.


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