Human Trafficking Rampant in the Caribbean
The small geographic region in the tropics boasts some of the most beautiful beaches, sunsets and resilient people on Earth. It’s also home to six nations on the U.S. State Department’s Tier 2 Watch List of nations failing to make significant efforts to curb human trafficking (Barbados, Guyana, Haiti, St. Lucia, Suriname, and Trinidad and Tobago)
In Haiti alone, conservative numbers estimate 150,000 children are trapped in domestic servitude in the French-speaking nation. A crumbling internal infrastructure, economic despair and hundreds of thousands of persons housed in Internally Displaced Persons Camps, following the 2010 earthquake, combine to form a breeding ground for human trafficking. The State Department notes a large population of street children end up forced into prostitution, begging or drawn into street crime by criminal gangs in Haiti.
This week, Jamaican authorities announced the arrest of Hermalinda Parker and two of her family members on charges of human trafficking, facilitating human trafficking and withholding passports. The Jamaican businesswoman traveled to Guyana and convinced a family to allow their 16 year old daughter to accompany Parker to Jamaica for a summer vacation. Upon the girl’s arrival in Jamaica, Parker forced the girl to become a dancer in a nightclub and ordered her to have sex with nightclub patrons to pay for the cost of her travel to the island.
The girl, along with young women from Panama and the Dominican Republic were rescued after a police raid on the establishment. The Jamaican Organised Crime Unit ramped up efforts to find human trafficking locations and conducted over 200 raids this year.
The rescue of this one girl may not seem significant in comparison to the scope of the $32 Billion dollar human trafficking industry. Her life is forever changed, but she does have a future. Make her suffering worth something. The Jamaican government has a chance to make a statement with the Parker prosecution. Human Trafficking is the most vile of crimes and cannot be tolerated in any form. Parker and her family face decades in an island prison, a fate they have earned and deserve.
The world is watching…
Please join me in the fight against human trafficking. A portion of the profit from the sales of Little River go to NotForSaleCampaign.org, a not-for-profit anti-trafficking organization.
What a dark, dark world we live in. After years of hearing heart-breaking stories as a therapist, I sometimes want to bury my head in the sand to so my heart doesn’t fracture completely. Sigh…but with a “$32 Billion dollar human trafficking industry”, we can’t do that, can we? Researching Little River must have been gut-wrenching. I have taken a small step in joining you in the fight against human trafficking by buying your book (first ebook purchase for this library lover).
I can’t begin to imagine some of the stories you’ve encountered as a therapist. I worked in prisons for years and saw daily examples of the darker side of humanity – and that kind of thing changes you.
The original idea for Little River started out as a traditional murder mystery, but as I dove into the research on the island, I was struck by the countless examples of human trafficking events mentioned. It changed the entire plot and direction of the book.
Thanks so much for your interest in Little River, and if you do get a chance to read it, I’d love to hear your thoughts. thanks again, Diane