Govt Unveils Major AntiHuman Trafficking Interventions

The Government is taking steps to enhance its anti-human trafficking profile through the development of a Human Trafficking Survivors’ Handbook and Human Trafficking e-Learning platform.The tools were produced by the Office of the National Rapporteur on Trafficking in Persons (ONRTIP) and the Office of the Children’s Advocate (OCA) in partnership with the British High Commission in Jamaica.They were formally launched during a ceremony at the AC Marriott Kingston Hotel on Wednesday (June 26).The handbook provides information on the rights of persons affected by human trafficking. It also provides a directory of providers of relevant and easily accessible information on services available in Jamaica to address the varying needs of victims.These publications will be made available through partner Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).The e-Learning platform is a training resource for anti-trafficking stakeholders, which is designed to build their capacities.It cites local examples of practical manifestations of human trafficking, and examines the indicators as well as case studies, among other engagements.The platform will initially be hosted on the website of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF), whose personnel will be among the first to access the training.Other anti-trafficking stakeholders will, over time, also be afforded access to the training platform.National Security Minister, Hon. Dr. Horace Chang, who spoke at the launch, said the Government continues to coordinate national activities on the recommendations of ONRTIP to ensure that Jamaica has a robust anti-human trafficking programme, as well as support and implement strategies to tackle the crime.Pointing out that anti-human trafficking is the second most lucrative organised criminal activity internationally, Dr. Chang said Jamaica was awarded a Tier Two ranking on the U.S. Department of State’s 2019 Trafficking in Persons Report – the same position as last year.Dr. Chang argued that while this report is a valuable measure of activity in this area, critical recommendations outlined in the Annual Report of the Office of the National Rapporteur on Trafficking in Persons should also be implemented.This, he said, is critical to providing a holistic and comprehensive response to human trafficking in the local context. The recommendations were tabled in the Houses of Parliament in December 2018.“We cannot only be guided by what our external partners and assessors tell us, which is a valuable measure of activity in this area. It is my view that a robust effort requires us to bear in mind what the United States may say in its report, but equally important, is that we must pay attention and work closely with the recommendations that have emanated from the Office of the National Rapporteur,” the Minister added.This, he further said, “reflects our own commitment; this is a national office directed by nationals and, therefore, is reflecting local thinking and local challenges”.ONRTIP has been directed to conduct an internal country assessment of the various initiatives and anti-human trafficking programmes that Jamaica has embarked on, and make recommendations for improvements in a bid to enhance the country’s profile.National Rapporteur on Trafficking in Persons, ONRTIP, Diahann Gordon Harrison, said the e-Learning platform and handbook will be pivotal as the Government takes steps to eliminate human trafficking.“In our joint deliberations, we formed the view that effective preventative measures must be a critical part of any robust anti-human trafficking system as you can prevent a crime from occurring when you are well placed in beating the problem,” she pointed out.Regional Manager for the Home Office for Immigration Enforcement for the Americas Region at the British High Commission, Richard Cronie, said the division welcomed the opportunity to partner with ONRTIP on the project which yielded a product “with the aim of raising awareness for frontline offenders and those who are in the position to tackle human trafficking”. The Government is taking steps to enhance its anti-human trafficking profile through the development of a Human Trafficking Survivors’ Handbook and Human Trafficking e-Learning platform. They were formally launched during a ceremony at the AC Marriott Kingston Hotel on Wednesday (June 26). Story Highlights The tools were produced by the Office of the National Rapporteur on Trafficking in Persons (ONRTIP) and the Office of the Children’s Advocate (OCA) in partnership with the British High Commission in Jamaica. read more

Jobseekers Encouraged to Make Use of Labour Market Portal

Mr. Ford noted that when the LMIS was first implemented in 2002, through funding from the United States Department of Labour, its main task was to provide employment opportunities for low-skilled workers. Story Highlights He said that the core function of the LMIS is to connect jobseekers with potential employers. Jobseekers are being encouraged to make use of the Ministry of Labour and Social Security’s Labour Market and Information System (LMIS) portal in order to access employment opportunities. The advice came from Director of the Electronic Labour Exchange (ELE), Lyndon Ford, at a JIS Think Tank on Wednesday (June 27).He said that the core function of the LMIS is to connect jobseekers with potential employers.Mr. Ford noted that when the LMIS was first implemented in 2002, through funding from the United States Department of Labour, its main task was to provide employment opportunities for low-skilled workers.However, over the years, the portal was enhanced through several capacity-building efforts, and the LMIS’s mandate has been widened to include all job opportunity levels.“We are now looking for persons with various positions and qualifications… from domestic worker to PhD professional, to drivers – all skill-sets,” he said. To register with the LMIS, persons may visit lmis.gov.jm or download the app, which is available on Android devices through the Google Play store.Mr. Ford noted that partnerships have been forged with the Jamaica Library Service (JLS) to facilitate persons, who do not have access to computers and may want to utilise the employment portal.Individuals can also visit the Ministry, where public computers are available and officers are on hand to assist with registration.The Ministry also accommodates manual registration, and jobseekers are advised to take along their résumés, Tax Registration Number (TRN), National Insurance Scheme (NIS) number and recommendations.In addition to connecting jobseekers with employers, persons can also access job readiness workshops and career guidance services free of charge from the Ministry.The objectives of the LMIS are to disseminate labour market intelligence; provide easier access to employment opportunities; provide a wide range of information on past, current and prospective economic conditions and job availability; and facilitate equity in the labour market by providing support and assistance to the unemployed and special groups such as the disabled, aged and youth. Jobseekers are being encouraged to make use of the Ministry of Labour and Social Security’s Labour Market and Information System (LMIS) portal in order to access employment opportunities. The advice came from Director of the Electronic Labour Exchange (ELE), Lyndon Ford, at a JIS Think Tank on Wednesday (June 27). read more

Several Activities Planned For Tourism Awareness Week

The Week will also incorporate the observance of World Tourism Day on September 27. The theme will be: ‘Tourism and Jobs: a better future for all’. Several activities will be held to mark this year’s Tourism Awareness Week (TAW), from September 22 to 28. Several activities will be held to mark this year’s Tourism Awareness Week (TAW), from September 22 to 28.The Week will also incorporate the observance of World Tourism Day on September 27. The theme will be: ‘Tourism and Jobs: a better future for all’.The week will commence with a Thanksgiving Service at Church on the Rock in St. Andrew, on Sunday, September 22.Throughout the week, the Ministry will utilise the print, electronic and social media to highlight the career opportunities, traditional and non-traditional jobs available in the sector.Giving details about the slew of activities at a JIS ‘Think Tank’, on September 13, Marketing Communications Manager at the Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB), Essie Gardner, said that advertorials will be published throughout the week in the two major local newspapers.“The advertorials will feature the Minister’s TAW message; the Ministry’s human capital development strategy; Team Jamaica and other training programmes by the Tourism Product Development Company (TPDCo); and the work of the Jamaica Centre of Tourism Innovation,” Ms. Gardner outlined.She added that other publications will highlight jobs in marketing the tourism industry by the JTB; the Tourism Linkages Network initiatives, and Jamaica Vacations Limited’s (JAMVAC) thrust in hiring persons to transform the cruise experience.Ms. Gardner noted that a career expo will be staged at the JTB’s library at its Kingston offices, while tourism sector players will engage students at select schools across the island in career talks.Major highlights for the week will be the Tourism Linkages Network’s ‘Pop up Kitchen’ and Fashion Show on September 25 at the PANJAM Breezeway in New Kingston and the Tourism Career Expo and Concert to be held in Kingston on World Tourism Day.Ms. Gardner said that this year’s observance of TAW will showcase tourism as an inclusive industry and a strong driver of economic growth and development, providing several earning opportunities.“Our focus is getting Jamaicans aware of the impact of tourism on national development and the role that Jamaica is playing on a global scale in terms of having policies which indicate that tourism really is a driver for our economy,” she added.World Tourism Day is celebrated on September 27 each year to foster awareness among the international community of the importance of tourism and its social, cultural, political and economic value.As the official day set aside in the United Nations calendar, the celebration seeks to highlight tourism’s potential to contribute to reaching the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and addressing some of the most pressing challenges of today. The week will commence with a Thanksgiving Service at Church on the Rock in St. Andrew, on Sunday, September 22. Story Highlights read more

Ministry Looking To Complete Electric Vehicle Policy This Financial Year

The Ministry of Science, Energy and Technology is seeking to complete an electric vehicle policy and promulgate regulations under the Electricity Act to treat with the use of these vehicles, during this financial year.Portfolio Minister, Hon. Fayval Williams, made the disclosure on day two of the Engineers’ Week 2019 Conference on Tuesday (Sept. 17), at the Knutsford Court Hotel, New Kingston.The electric vehicle policy will create an enabling environment for the use of the technology in the public transportation space.Electric vehicles are believed to be significantly cleaner and safer for the environment than traditional gasoline vehicles.Minister Williams noted that in addition to the policy and regulatory framework, local power company, Jamaica Public Service (JPS) will be installing charging stations in the coming year as part of the necessary infrastructure to accommodate electric vehicles.“The energy sector is constantly changing. Not only are we exploring the possibilities of alternative energy sources, we are taking the necessary steps to ensure that electric vehicles are part of our future. Many countries in the world have made policy statements on the intention to embrace electric vehicles and move away from internal combustion engines,” she said.The conference, organised by the Jamaica Institution of Engineers (JIE) is in observance of Engineers’ Week from September 15 to 21 under the theme: ‘Engineering: A Collaborative Approach to Development.’The event, which ends on Friday (Sept. 20), includes presentations from a number of local and international public and private sector stakeholders.Topics include: Fire Prevention Planning for Buildings; Engineering Ethics; and Storm Drainage Best Installation Practices. Portfolio Minister, Hon. Fayval Williams, made the disclosure on day two of the Engineers’ Week 2019 Conference on Tuesday (Sept. 17), at the Knutsford Court Hotel, New Kingston. Story Highlights The Ministry of Science, Energy and Technology is seeking to complete an electric vehicle policy and promulgate regulations under the Electricity Act to treat with the use of these vehicles, during this financial year. The electric vehicle policy will create an enabling environment for the use of the technology in the public transportation space. read more