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Human Trafficking in Belize The 2004 IOM Report by Juan Miguel Petit Brief Comments, Observations and Trafficking Scenarios Belize City, April 14 – 15,

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Presentation on theme: "Human Trafficking in Belize The 2004 IOM Report by Juan Miguel Petit Brief Comments, Observations and Trafficking Scenarios Belize City, April 14 – 15,"— Presentation transcript:

1 Human Trafficking in Belize The 2004 IOM Report by Juan Miguel Petit Brief Comments, Observations and Trafficking Scenarios Belize City, April 14 – 15, 2005

2 Trafficking in Persons in Belize Compared in the Region Perspective and Context: Hispaniola – Haiti and Dominican Republic Central America and Mexico Colombia English Caribbean

3 What Trafficking in Persons reports exist on Belize? A series of reports: Refugee Studies UNICEF, George Heusner Study De Paul University/OAS Study of 2003 U.S. State Department TIP Reports

4 What is known about Trafficking in Persons in Belize? Major categories of possible TIP mentioned in Report: Illegal Migration into and through Belize Closed Foreign Communities Foreign Agricultural Laborers Sex Trade “Sugar Daddy” Phenomenon

5 Who receives Belizean visas and foreign work permits? Importance of Reliable Government Statistics: IOM Report suggests data not accurate Who keeps data on visas and foreign work permits issuances? Can data collection be improved?

6 Do all foreigners who enter Belize leave? “In January 2004, 20,396 people entered and 13, 268 left the country, in February16,677 entered and only 11,297 left. The pattern is the same every month: the number of people that enter Belize is many thousands more than the ones that leave it.”

7 Caribbean Labour Statistics Number of work permits issued by sex and nationality, Belize Both sexes Country of origin Latin America1,5801,6841,2491,4222,533 United States of America Canada West Indies Asia Europe Other1, ,4771, Total3,7692,4583,1233,2373,995 Source: Labour Department, Belize, various years

8 Is this a case of Trafficking in Persons? Case of Betty: Betty is a 16-year-old school girl whose mother encourages her to have a “romance” with a 45-year-old rum shop owner, Mr. Jones. Mr. Jones is kind to Betty, but treats her as an adult mistress, and pays the mother’s rent in order to keep Betty’s affection.

9 Is this a case of Trafficking in Persons? Case of Wong: Wong agreed to work to pay off a $25,000 debt to smugglers to be moved to New York. He reaches Belize, where works in a Chinese restaurant. He cannot leave the compound and works long hours at no pay. He never complains hoping in a year or two to be able to go on to the U.S.

10 Is this a case of trafficking in persons? Case of Maria and Juanita: Maria is 19 and Juanita is 16. They are sisters who live in a village in Guatemala. Jack recruits them to work in a club in a tourist area. They enter Belize illegally. Once at the club, both voluntarily work as prostitutes and are well paid.

11 Is this a case of trafficking in persons? Case of Rodney: Rodney is a 30-year-old Belizean electrician recruited to work in Alaska. Rodney signs a contract and goes to Alaska. Rodney lives in an isolated camp. He works seven days a week, but is never paid. After a month he is able to fly home.

12 Is this a case of trafficking in persons? Case of Emilio: Emilio illegally enters Belize from Honduras. Bob hires Emilio to work on a plantation picking bananas. After a month Emilio wants to continue his illegal migration to Mexico. Emilio is never paid anything and is told he will be turned over to Belizean migration if he tries to leave.

13 Is this a case of trafficking in persons? Case of Tatiana: A 27-year-old Russian, Tatiana enters Belize with a tourist visa. Jake hires Tatiana to work in his hotel to entertain high-paying guests, including working as a prostitute. Tatiana agrees, but since she owes Jake money, he decides to hold her passport just so she does not leave town.


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