Monthly Archives: April 2014

Improving special education high on Education Ministry agenda

Minister of Education, Priya Manickchand

In keeping with the Persons Living with Disability Act, the Ministry of Education has been feverishly working to ensure that children with special education needs are fully catered for within the public school system.

Speaking in the National Assembly during the recent budget debates, Minister of Education, Priya Manickchand made it clear that “we are going to be looking at making sure that our buildings are friendlier, so that we can cater for children with disabilities so that it does not affect their ability to learn.”
In this quest to improve the delivery of special education needs, the Minister said that her Ministry is committed to ensuring that education buildings are designed with those with special needs in mind. This will therefore see buildings being constructed with ramps and even suitable washroom facilities.
“We are committed and we are making sure that every building we build complies with the Person Living with Disability Act…” a passionate Manickchand told the House.
And efforts to improve the delivery of education among those with special education needs have already started since according to the Minister, moves have already been made to relocate the Blind Unit which was once housed at the St. Rose’s Secondary School.  Those students, according to her, have been placed in another friendlier environment since September 2, 2013.
However, the Minister asserted that her Ministry is not by any means satisfied with what has been done with those with special needs education.
“We are not happy with that and we are recognising that we are not doing what we are suppose to do; we are not preparing our children with special education needs as best as we can and making them capable of meeting their maximum potential…we would be the first to tell you that we are not happy with the way the education sector has been catering for students with special education needs,” said Manickchand.
It was for this very reason, she said, that the Ministry had spearheaded a countrywide stakeholders’ consultation, which has helped to inform the work of the Ministry, over the next five years, in this regard.
“People have told us what they want; they want us to make sure we look at how we are preparing our teachers, so one of the things that is going to be done as a matter of priority over the next five years, is to make sure that all of the teachers coming out of CPCE are prepared for integrating special education needs children into the classroom,” assured Manickchand.
It was only earlier this year that the Minister intimated plans to give closer attention to teachers tasked with attending to special needs education children, whereby they are treated on par with other teachers. However, she disclosed that such a move will take some work on the part of the Ministry to ensure that this is realised.
Moreover, moves to ensure equality among teachers will see the Ministry seeking to revise regulations governing the operation of Special Needs teachers.
Currently, Special Needs education teachers are not eligible for promotion, a state of affairs that prompted Minister Manickchand to emphasise that “our teachers who have been teaching (Special Needs) have been extremely kind…but at the end of the day, people want promotion and so on. The system we have now does not allow a teacher teaching in a Special Needs School to be promoted and we are fixing that shortly,” declared the Minister.
She pointed out that the Ministry is intent on making sure that the teaching of special needs is seen as beneficial to teachers. As such, Manickchand disclosed that “…we are looking at what incentives are offered to teachers to deliver this very difficult programme.”
But since there are certainly not enough trained teachers to cater to this crucial area, the Minister said that efforts are being made to have greater focus on specifically training teachers in this regard.

Non Pareil murder/ suicide…Sibling cites rumours of infidelity as possible motive

Dead: Nandanie Mohan called Michelle, and her husband, Vickam Ramdin30

Rajnarine Ramdin, the brother of the 31-year-old man who murdered his wife before hanging himself last Sunday at Non Pareil, East Coast Demerara, said that his sibling might have committed the act because of rumours that his spouse was having an affair. At around 21:00hrs, relatives found the bodies of 28-year-old Nandanie Mohan, called Michelle and her husband Vickam Ramdin in their home at Lot 165 North ‘D’ Non Pareil Housing Scheme.

Mohan’s body was found on the couple’s bed with a sheet wrapped around her neck while her husband was discovered dangling from a rafter, just above her. From all indications, the father of two had strangled his wife and then hanged himself.
Rajnarine Ramdin yesterday told this publication during a telephone interview that he believes his brother committed the act because of rumours that his wife was having an affair.
“She was working at a snackette at Mon Repos market and a lot of men used to go and drink there and he (his brother) used to go there and drink, and like he see things too. Like it get overbearing and he trip,” the brother opined.
According to Rajnarine Ramdin, his brother had once told him that people were telling him things and he even saw something.
“He said that he see something but he didn’t say what he see but he was upset and frustrated. He (Vickram) never tell anyone anything, he use to keep to himself and because the affair was getting to him, he would drink a lot. Sometimes she (Nandanie) would tell him that she sleeping by her parents and when he find out, she is not there, so all those things used to bother him a lot.”
The brother further related that his dead sibling was “too attached to his wife” and could not stay away from her.
“They spent years together so it was hard for him. I am not blaming her for anything, but I think their problems started when she got the work,” Rajnarine Ramdin related.
Meanwhile, Nandanie Mohan’s father, Dudnath Mohan had told this publication that two years ago his daughter was forced to take up a job at the snackette because her husband hardly worked. He further related that last year, on Mashramani Day, his now dead son-in-law had held a knife to his daughter’s neck and threatened to kill her, forcing her to jump from her 12-ft. high verandah.
“When he get ready, he used to cut up the hose from the gas stove and knock up the fridge, denting it. He would take her clothes and burn it and still my daughter refused to leave him,” the dead woman’s father said.
Recalling what happened on that fateful  night, the dead woman’s mother, Lachmin Mohan, said that early Sunday she tried numerous times to contact her daughter and son-in-law but failed.
Accompanied by another daughter and the dead couple’s 11-year-old son, Omardat Ramdin, she went to her daughter’s house around 21:00hrs later that day.
“The two children does live by me, so I carry they son with us. When we reach, the son take a stick and he was hitting the flooring and saying, ‘Mommy, Daddy wake up,’ but no one answered and the place was locked up.”
She added that she started asking neighbours if they saw the couple.
“People say that they see them a little before 06:00hrs on Saturday walking. They say he had an umbrella sheltering her and they were hugging and walking,” the grieving mother recalled.
The woman added that after talking to neighbours, as she was heading back to her daughter’s home, she heard a loud scream.
“My daughter got into the house and she tell me that Nandanie dead and deh on the bed and Vickram deh hang up,” the tearful woman said.
The police were called in and the bodies were removed from the home.
Post mortem examinations will be performed today.
The couple was supposed to attend the Vigilance Magistrate’s Court last Monday for a domestic matter.

First batch of visually impaired students to write CSEC

 

A few of the students in an after-class study group

Anxious and a bit nervous but confident are just some of the words that can be used to describe students of the Guyana Society for the Blind, (GSB) who are preparing to write the upcoming Caribbean Secondary Education Council, (CSEC) examinations.
To be honest, I did not know what to expect, as I sat down to chat with the group of visually impaired students, the first batch to take on the task of publicly displaying their intellectual capabilities by entering to write the exams.
But I was pleasantly surprised at their frankness, and humility as the students spoke of the journey they have undergone in training in computer use, and other subject areas preparing for the exams.

They explained that most of the learning exercises are conducted via specifically configured software designed to assist visually impaired persons. This software allows the computer to voice everything that appears on the screen, so that audio skills play a great part in the scheme of things.  The students said that technology helps to make the work easier.
While most of the students are fairly older, they behave like regular teenagers attending secondary school, teasing each other, laughing and talking amongst their classmates.
The visually impaired pupils spoke of their challenges and what they hope to achieve as the first batch of students, being afforded the opportunity to participate in an examination with persons without any visual impairments.
“For me it is not an intellectual contest, of course I want to gain a proper education, but my overall achievement would be helping to remove the stigma, discrimination, and ignorance in our society, where there is a tendency to correlate persons with disabilities as being void and unable to cope, because I believe if people are better sensitized and educated on this particular subject, we will be able to pave a better path for other persons with disabilities, so that society wouldn’t limit  persons to their disabilities,” Rosemary Ramitt said.
Rosemary has been attending the institute for almost three years.  She had her sight for the first thirteen years of her life, until she was diagnosed with an eye disorder called Uveitis. The disease, which is basically inflammation of the eyes, caused her to become visually impaired.
“I see a little but only colours really vague … but I can type really well and  I study hard, so I feel prepared to sit the exams, those who can’t type that good usually get a scribe to read and write for them as they provide the answers to the question. We also get an extra fifteen minutes to every hour, in the examination room so there are considerations for us…I will be writing five subjects in June, which is the maximum for us.”
Rosemary said that she noted that she is never one to shy away from a challenge.
“My favourite subject is Human and Social Biology. I attended the Annandale Secondary School before I became visually impaired. However, my future aspiration is to become a teacher and therefore my plan is to enter the Cyril Potter College of Education, upon successfully completing my exams.
Odessa Blair is also a student at the GSB. Blair became blind five years ago, as a result of an illness she suffered and has been attending CSEC classes there at least four times a week.
“I used to work as a sales clerk at Stabroek Market before I became blind… I wrote CSEC before but remember the knowledge I had as a seeing person is not the same. I cannot use the same method of application and therefore I opted to rewrite the exams,” Blair said. She hopes to further her studies after the exams.
Visually impaired, Vishal Mohabir talked about the challenge of adapting his lifestyle after his eyes were damaged.  A former student of St. Roses High School, Mohabir hopes to attend the University of Guyana, once he completes his examinations.
“Workshops, training and attending classes here, have contributed a great deal to helping me adapt, I find it a bit easier being among persons with similar disabilities, because we are able to support each other because we understand what the other person is going through.”
His colleague, Musa Haynes, was a bit shy, but briefly said that he plans on using his skills to provide counseling services to persons, affected by HIV/AIDS.
However, the student noted that it’s not all smooth sailing, at the institution as he cited a few challenges such as the need for proper furniture for students and adequate classroom accommodation, as well as security for the premises.
Public Relations Officer for the Council of the Organization of People with Disability and tutor at the institute, Ganesh Singh, noted that the CSEC programme for persons with disabilities was initiated to promote the education and intellectual development of persons, who are blind, visually impaired or otherwise physically challenged.
“The idea is to help promote the intellectual capability of persons who are visually impaired or disabled in some way or the other, because what we have been experiencing is society overlooking persons with disabilities, forgetting or not realizing that having a shortcoming in one area, does not mean that you cannot function in the others; being blind does not mean that you are not academically inclined or cannot be educated.”
Singh says that while the need for an inclusive education system in which persons with disabilities can amply function has been heralded, the Guyana Society for the Blind, (GSB), is the first organization for physically challenged persons, to take on such an initiative.
He said that for the first time, since its establishment in 1955, students will be able to take part in the examination, via the institute.
“The programme is the brainchild of officials of the Guyana Society for the Blind in collaboration with the Ministry of Education; the chief initiators being myself, Mr. Cecil Morris, President of the Guyana Society for the Blind and Ms. Theresa Pemberton, our Administrative Volunteer. We are grateful to the Ministry of Education, which has supported us by sending part time tutors and for their immediate response to our initiative. We are also thankful for the One Laptop Per Family project, which afforded the school the computer equipment the students currently utilize for the in house training.”
According to Singh, the Ministry of Education funds the payment of the teaching staff, as well as provides candidate fees for the students to write the examinations.
The programme started last year with academic classes being held at the Guyana Institute for the Blind. It entails in-house training and coaching a class of fifteen students, ten of whom are preparing to write CSEC exams in June.
The students are taught lessons in basically five subject areas, namely: English, Business, Office Administration, Social Studies and Human and Social Biology.
Classes are held at the Blind Institute on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. The classes cater for mature students, 18 and upwards, travelling from as far as Farm, East Bank Essequibo (just off Parika) Diamond, East Bank Demerara, Enterprise and Plaisance on the East Coast Demerara and Georgetown.
Apart from the CSEC programme, the society also conducts literacy classes for the disabled on the premises.
The Guyana Society for the Blind is appealing to persons with disabilities who might have the potential and are desirous of being admitted to the CSEC and Literacy programmes to contact the President or Administrative Volunteer on telephone number: 226-4971 or persons visit the Guyana Society for the Blind at High Street (behind the former GBC Radio Station).

Gov’t revokes work permit of LEAD project head

The Government of Guyana has revoked the work permit and extension of stay of the Head of the controversial US Leadership and Democracy project.

Head of the Presidential Secretariat, Dr Roger Luncheon, made the revelation at his weekly press briefing today. He ventured that the revocation of Glen Bradbury’s work permit and extension of stay was “based on the conclusion that the immigration laws of Guyana have been offended by Mr Bradbury and his actions in Guyana.”

Dr Luncheon stated that “it is a fact that the revocation has taken place and it is equally a fact that Mr Bradbury, a Canadian citizen has had the revocation brought to the attention both of his employer, the US government through its Ambassador and through the Canadian High Commission.”

The revocation of Bradbury’s work permit would be seen as an escalation of the row with the US over the project. It comes after the US had stated that it was going to ahead with the project with other stakeholders notwithstanding the government’s objections.

Luncheon told members of the media that Guyana was committed to re-engage in the LEAD project but that this would not be possible if the current activities of the LEAD Project were to be implemented. He said that cabinet had reached out to the American Ambassador, Brent Hardt, and requested that the implementation of the project be put on hold.

Dr Luncheon said that the American Ambassador committed to a formal response in a timely manner. On April 24, Luncheon met with Hardt and expressed again government’s position on the contentious USAID-funded project and the Ambassador promised to communicate it to his government.

Bradbury (right) with US Ambassador Brent Hardt (left) and members of parliament at the launching of the LEAD project in July of 2013. (SN file photo)

Cops nab suspect in gas station employee’s murder

 

Police have detained a suspect in the July 2013 heist in which 72-year-old gas station employee Victor Da Silva was killed and his employee Cecil Gajadar wounded.
Kaieteur News understands that the 28-year-old suspect, known as ‘Milo’, was arrested on Thursday on Waterloo Street.
Investigators were reportedly told that the suspect had driven the car that the bandits escaped in after shooting the victims.
Another man, 27-year-old Joseph Williams of Gordon Street Kitty, has already been charged for Da Silva’s murder.
It is alleged that Da Silva, of Lot 10 Covent Garden, East Bank Demerara and Gajadar, also 72, were heading by car to a Water Street bank on July 8, 2013, when three bandits shot at them.
Da Silva died at the scene after a bullet penetrated the windscreen and hit him in the chest, while Gajadar of Foulis/Enmore, East Coast Demerara sustained a gunshot wound to the side of his head.
The killers escaped with a bag containing some $8M.

Five held in kidnap/murder probe

April 12, 2014 | By | Filed Under News

- Police Commissioner

Five people are in custody as police intensify their investigation into the murder of spare parts dealer Rajendra Singh, who was shot and dumped in Le Repentir Cemetery four days after being kidnapped from his home.

Rajendra Singh

Rajendra Singh

Commissioner of Police (ag) Seelall Persaud made this disclosure to journalists yesterday during his outreach programme in Albouystown.
Because of the sensitive nature of the investigation, the Top Cop declined to provide further details about the identity of the suspects. However, indications are that police are making significant progress.
Singh’s body was discovered in an isolated section of Le Repentir cemetery at around 09:30 hours on Wednesday. He had been shot twice in the head and a 9mm warhead was reportedly retrieved from the scene.
His killers had used a jersey to tie his mouth and nose and his belt to bind his hands. They had also removed his pants, leaving him clad in his socks and his underwear.
Investigators believe that Singh was killed in the cemetery sometime early Wednesday.
The shocking discovery came even as Singh’s relatives had accumulated part of the ransom, which they had hoped to deliver to the kidnappers to secure his release.
Singh was snatched from his store on the Foulis Public Road last week Saturday in the presence of his wife and two of his employees, by two gunmen who pretended to be customers.The men dumped Singh in the trunk of his car and sped away.
The vehicle, a Toyota IST, was found abandoned at Goedverwagting, a few miles away.
The kidnappers subsequently made an initial demand of $50M for his release but reduced the ransom by half the following morning.
The kidnappers had also warned Singh’s wife not to contact the police. They also demanded the tapes from the surveillance cameras that surrounded the business place.
Although they were monitoring the subsequent telephone calls, investigators had admitted that they were unable to ascertain the exact location from where they originated with a view to narrowing down where Singh was being held captive.
Detectives had detained a woman who was listed as the owner of the SIM card from which telephone contact was made by the kidnappers to the businessman’s wife.

Porkknocker stabbed to death, reputed wife on the run

April 23, 2014 | By | Filed Under News

 

The murder of a 32-year-old man at Baramita, has once again exposed the lack of law and order in the small North West District community.
Junior Brandt, a porkknocker, was discovered dead yesterday morning with several stab wounds about his body.
Police in a press statement said that Brandt was allegedly involved in an argument with his reputed wife, during which he was fatally stabbed. Up to last night, the woman had not been arrested.
This latest incident has once more highlighted that the lack of respect for life and property is spiraling out of control and police in the district seem incapable of dealing with or are turning a blind eye to the situation.
And while the victim of the latest murder is a man at the hands of a woman, some concerned residents are appealing for something to be done to arrest what they described as wanton disregard for the law. They are critical of the police ranks there who they say are showing no regard for what is taking place.
In fact, one resident said that the police at the Baramita outpost, refused to accompany persons to the scene of the murder and it was the Village Captain who undertook the task to bring Brandt’s body out from the backdam where the incident took place.
Kaieteur News was told that early yesterday morning, a villager went to the Captain and reported that a man was lying dead in a pool of blood in the backdam.
According to a source in the district, the Captain and the individual went to the police, but their report of the murder was met with scant disregard by the police rank on duty, who reportedly had a dismissive attitude.
When contacted, the Captain, who claimed to be a relative of the dead man, said that he had requested to borrow the police’s All-Terrain Vehicle (ATV) to go to the scene of the crime, but the police rank refused.
Later the Captain and the villager left on another ATV and within an hour they returned with Brandt’s body.
“The police didn’t go in and investigate and nobody get arrest, but the police lock up the man who report the murder,” the source said.
Villagers are desperately hoping that things will turn around quickly in their community so that future generations will be spared. They spoke of wanton alcohol consumption, even by under-aged children, and in most cases these binges end up in bloodshed.
“If a man stab a man in here, fifteen minutes later he get loose and the next morning is pure blood you seeing on the road. People raping the little girls and nobody being charged,” the source said. They painted a gloomy picture of their community.
“Lil children seven and nine years old drunk, drunk. Mother drinking rum and their children are with them crying,” one villager told this newspaper.
They were not very complimentary of the police either.
“The police doing DJ work at Nano shop. I don’t know what is going on in this community,” another resident lamented.
According to the resident, “every day after six o’clock, the police station close and is everybody drunk.”

 

No bail for water vendor who allegedly stabbed ex-wife

A Plaisance Bus Park water vendor appeared in a city court yesterday charged with stabbing his reputed wife with an ice-pick after she decided to end their relationship.
Randy Bowen, of 17 Prince William Street, Plaisance, appeared before Magistrate Ann McLennan at the Georgetown Magistrates’ Court for his first arraignment.
It is alleged that on April 12, last, at Regent and Hinck Streets, he unlawfully assaulted his reputed wife so as to cause her actual bodily harm.
When asked to respond to the charge, the accused pleaded not guilty.
The case is being prosecuted by Corporal Deniro Jones and Bowen was unrepresented by legal counsel.
Corporal Jones explained that the victim was vending at Regent and Hinck Streets when she was confronted by Bowen, her former reputed husband, and they started to argue.
According to the Prosecutor, during the quarrel the woman asked him to move from her stall and he started to point his finger in her face. In response, the woman told him that the relationship is over and that she wished not to be engaged in a problem with him and tried to walk away.
The Prosecution said Bowen got angry and pulled her back towards him and dealt her two stabs with an ice-pick to her thigh.
The matter was reported and the accused was later arrested and charged with the offence.
The Corporal objected to him being granted bail citing that there were conflicts with the addresses he had provided to the court and police.
Bail was refused and Bowen was remanded. He is scheduled to appear before Chief Magistrate Priya Sewnarine-Beharry on May 16.

The Caribbean, answering the global call to end stigma and discrimination

The Caribbean response to HIV has known many successes in recent years. Since 2001 there has been a 54% decline in AIDS-related deaths while new HIV infections have dropped by 49%. Twenty times more people are accessing HIV treatment now than there were ten years ago. And several countries are on track to virtually eliminate new HIV infections among children by 2015.

However, stigma and discrimination are still hampering efforts to reduce new HIV infections, increase the numbers of people accessing antiretroviral treatment and ensure that all people living with HIV can live full and productive lives. Prejudice towards people living with HIV and other key populations such as men who have sex with men, transgender people, sex workers, people who use drugs, homeless people and prisoners, remains a major obstacle throughout the region.

“HIV is a by-product of social inequities,” said Carolyn Gomes, Executive Director of the Caribbean Vulnerable Communities Coalition at the Caribbean Consultation on Justice For All in Kingston, Jamaica. “We need a bottom-up approach. We have to find ways to be heard. We have to apply resources to what we know would bring about transformative change.”

The “Justice For All” initiative is meant to link the voices and actions of members of civil society with governments, faith communities and the private sector. It is an attempt to collectively propel Caribbean countries toward improving citizens’ access to justice and equity. It also aims to build alliances in order to increase awareness and support for human rights.

Coordinated by the Pan-Caribbean Partnership Against HIV and AIDS (PANCAP), the effort is led by the United Nations Secretary General’s Special Envoy on HIV for the Caribbean, Professor Edward Greene, supported by UNAIDS.

“The world now knows what to do to end this epidemic,” UNAIDS Deputy Executive Director, Luiz Loures told participants. “We have the tools but we have entered a phase in which some people are getting left behind. The Caribbean is part of this contradiction. The general epidemic is going down but there are still laws, attitudes and practices that stop us from achieving our goals.” Dr Loures encouraged participants in the consultation to choose concrete targets and milestones to chart their progress towards ending stigma and discrimination.

The Executive Director of the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, Mark Dybul, noted that this regional approach to building a culture of respecting human rights is unique. “The Caribbean can become the leader in ending AIDS,” said Mr Dybul. “We are at an historic moment when we can end AIDS as a public health threat. No other epidemic is pushing us to respond to one another differently and to embrace everyone, every small subset of people, as part of the human family.”

Mr Greene identified key areas of focus including reducing gender inequality, promoting sexual and reproductive health and rights and repealing discriminatory laws that infringe human rights. Sex between men is a criminal offence in 11 nations in the region and several Caribbean countries prohibit aspects of sex work. Some countries also have laws that restrict entry on the basis of sexual orientation, HIV status and disability. The Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis, Denzil Douglas, assured that “Justice For All” will be a focus of discussion for the region’s political leaders.

Low prevalence of TIP in Guyana – Human Services Minister

Human Services Minister, Jennifer Webster

 

Notwithstanding the extent of Trafficking in Persons (TIP) globally, repeated assessments have revealed a low prevalence of TIP in Guyana, says Human Services Minister Jennifer Webster. Addressing the National Assembly during her budget debate presentation, Webster said, “TIP is a global phenomenon. It is the second largest criminal activity in the world, in conjunction with arms trafficking and trailing the drug trade, according to the United Nations”.

While emphasizing the low prevalence of TIP in Guyana, the Minister said the potential impact of TIP on the safety and human rights of citizens has driven the Government and its partners to develop strategies and programmes aimed at combating the illegal activity.
She related that initiatives aimed at combating TIP have been undertaken under the guidance of the Ministerial Task Force on Trafficking In Persons, which comprises representatives of governmental and non-governmental agencies. It is chaired by Minister of Home Affairs, Clement Rohee.
Webster said that Government’s policy on the issue of TIP is to wage a consistent struggle against perpetrators.  She assured that Government will always honour its obligations to offer protection and assistance to victims.
“This is contrary to some recent public statements made in the press,” Webster said.
Government has always maintained that TIP is not a problem in Guyana, despite reports to the contrary by the US State Department. In 2012, when the Guyana Women Miners’ Organization (GWMO) began rescuing women and children from sexual exploitation from Guyana’s ‘gold bush’ some Government officials acknowledged that TIP was indeed a problem. Nonetheless, they are adamant that it is not widespread.
Simona Broomes, President of GWMO, has been vocal about Government’s inaction in terms of implementing the provisions under the Laws in providing assistance for victims, or as she prefers to say, survivors of TIP.
Broomes believes survivors are sucked into a vicious cycle because of the lack of counseling, inadequate shelter, absence of resources to reintegrate them into society, and no access to education.
Minister Webster, meanwhile, told the National Assembly that it must be noted that investigations of reported incidents of TIP are conducted by the Guyana Police Force. She said all files or matters with respect to TIP are duly reviewed by the Commissioner of Police or an authorized officer. She explained that there is an established protocol as to how such matters are dealt with.  The Guyana Police Force is responsible for informing witnesses or alleged victims of their scheduled appearance in Court.
According to Webster, communication is a key element in relationship building for effective inter-agency collaboration.
“We must communicate and understand the roles and responsibilities of the participating agencies and appreciate each other’s cultural and operating differences. The barriers to inter-agency collaboration are many, but true professionals will continue to work towards removing these barriers,” she said.
She noted that in 2013, there were 20 alleged victims, nine reports, three convictions and six cases which were brought before the Courts. One case was dismissed. The three convictions pertained matters in 2012.
“With respect to the three cases in 2013 which were not brought before the Court, no charge was instituted based upon the legal advice provided by the Director of Public Prosecutions,” she said.
The Minister stressed that the Ministry of Labour, Human Services and Social Security has never rejected any alleged TIP victims and has rendered support in the form of financial aid; the provision of housing, food, and clothing; together with training opportunities and job placement for victims; to facilitate their reintegration into society.
In 2013, the Ministry supported 30 alleged victims, some of whom were rescued during the previous year, Webster said.
“The Ministry continues to urge full reporting of incidents of TIP by every concerned Guyanese and also urges all TIP victims or alleged victims to ensure they testify in the Court of Law to ensure prosecutions which will result in the conviction, and we would like to assure everyone, that Government remains ready to support all victims/alleged victims to ensure their meaningful reintegration into society,” Webster asserted.