Digital communications are everywhere and yet policymakers are still struggling to respond with appropriate structures and governance models. It's necessary to move beyond celebrating greater accessibility and affordability in order to tackle fundamental questions about ownership and regulation as well as ethical questions about privacy, security and surveillance.
Human trafficking is a significant problem in Jamaica as it is both a “source and destination country for adults and children subjected to sex trafficking and forced labour” (US State Department 2016). Youth, particularly girls and young women, are often most as risk of being lured and/or coerced into forms of trafficking that include sex work, domestic servitude, and forced labour.
Jamaica adopted a Trafficking in Persons, Prevention, Suppression and Punishment Act in 2009, and a number of victims have been rescued in recent years, including numerous foreigners. However, despite these encouraging developments, Jamaica was still classified as a Tier Two country in the 2016 Trafficking in Persons Report by the US State Department, which means that despite significant efforts, the country still does not meet the US State Department’s Minimum Standards for the Elimination of Trafficking in Persons. This issue continues to be a problem as a result of factors such as high youth unemployment, which turns vulnerable youth into easy targets for forms of exploitation masquerading as legitimate employment, and a social and cultural climate that permits the practice.
This project, implemented by WACC partner WMW Jamaica in collaboration with Kairos Creation Productions, seeks to raise awareness about the causes and consequences of human trafficking in Jamaica among at-risk youth and adults in positions of responsibility. This will be achieved through the production of a film entitled ““Where is Melissa?” and the delivery of public sensitization and advocacy efforts involving media editors, secondary and post-secondary education institutions, and faith-based organizations.