Back in the month of June, the US State Department issued its 2017 Trafficking in Persons Report which demonstrated that Belize remains as a tier 3 country and is classified as the worst trafficking offender in the Central American region.
The report indicated that Belize does not fully meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and that the Government is not making significant efforts to do so. The US State Department also claimed that there is an alleged high level of trafficking-related complicity by government officials.
While the report suggested that Belize would have to implement a number of measures in order to get out of a tier three classification, it seems as if GOB has taken the heed as earlier today Minister of Human Development, Social Transformation and Poverty Alleviation Hon. Anthony Martinez and Attorney General Hon. Michael Peyrefitte, met with Deputy Attorney General for the United States Department of Justice, Rod Rosenstein in Washington D.C. to participate in a Human Trafficking Seminar.
As part of the discussion, Attorney General Rosenstein conveyed the United States’ pledge to strengthen its existing relations with Belize so as to further address the issue of human trafficking. Hon. Peyrefitte, on the other hand, reported on some of the measures undertaken by Belize to prevent human trafficking to prosecute delinquents.
Rosenstein also took the opportunity to commend the International Legal Affairs Department in Belize’s Attorney General Ministry and relayed his Government’s appreciation for the work being carried out by Peyrefitte since taking office as the AG.
So far, Martinez and Peyrefitte have met with the Department of Justice and Diplomatic Security, and are scheduled to meet with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Department of Homeland Security, and the Trafficking in Persons Office of the State Department.