Jamaica sex profiles

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JAMAICA: TIER 2 The Government of Jamaica does not fully meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so.

The government demonstrated increasing efforts compared to the previous reporting period; therefore Jamaica remained on Tier 2.

The government criminalized sex and labor trafficking through its Trafficking in Persons (Prevention, Suppression, and Punishment) Act, which prescribed penalties of up to 20 years imprisonment, a fine, or both.

These penalties were sufficiently stringent; however, with respect to sex trafficking, by allowing for a fine in lieu of imprisonment, these penalties were not commensurate with those for other serious crimes, such as rape.

Officials prosecuted three new trafficking cases against three defendants – including Jamaica's first case of forced begging – and continued prosecuting 10 cases against 12 defendants, compared to three new cases in the previous reporting period.

The government secured one conviction, compared to two in the previous reporting period.

The independent commission of investigations had authority to investigate all alleged abuses by police officers and government officials, but in practice did not pursue allegations of trafficking.

CPFSA shelter facilities were inadequate for potential child trafficking victims; there was a shortage of child-friendly spaces, social workers, and facilities outside of the capital.

The children's registry – which operated a national hotline for cases of child abuse, including human trafficking – received three reports of alleged child trafficking between April and September 2017, the latest data available.

At least one victim identified during the reporting period remained in a long-term shelter arrangement.

An NGO-run trafficking shelter offered educational and training services funded by the government to victims older than 16 and was capable of housing six women; the government did not refer any victims to this shelter during the reporting period.

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