(Centre, back row) Minister of National Security the Honourable Fitzgerald Hinds M.P.; (centre, front row) Director of the Counter Trafficking Unit, Ms. Alana Wheeler; and members of the National Task Force Against TiPs Working Group (NTFWG) 2021-2025 with their letters of appointment on Tuesday March 29, 2022 at the Ministry of National Security’s Head Office, Abercromby Street, Port of Spain.

Minister of National Security Fitzgerald Hinds presented letters of appointment to members of the National Task Force Against Trafficking in Persons today. The group which is led by the Director of the Counter Trafficking Unit at the Ministry of National Security, Ms. Alana Wheeler, will oversee the implementation of the National Plan of Action which covers four areas, which include: Effective identification of victims and witnesses; Prevention; Protection of survivors and witnesses; and Prosecution.

The following is a press release from the Ministry of National Security:

On March 29, 2022, Minister of National Security the Honourable Fitzgerald Hinds M.P. presented letters of appointment to members of the National Task Force Against Trafficking in Persons (TiPs) Working Group (NTFWG) 2021-2025. The presentation took place at a meeting held at the Ministry of National Security’s Head Office, Abercromby Street, Port of Spain.

The NTFWG comprises fourteen (14) governmental and non-governmental agencies, including: Ministry of Public Administration; The Interclub of Trinidad and Tobago; Ministry of Education; Convention for the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) Committee of Trinidad and Tobago; Eye on Dependency; Ministry of Social Development and Family Services; Ministry of Foreign and CARICOM Affairs; Ministry of Health; Office of the Prime Minister – Gender and Child Affairs Division; Rape Crisis Society of Trinidad and Tobago; La Casita Hispanic Cultural Center (Venezuelan Migrant Support Group); Trinidad and Tobago Police Service’s Special Investigations Unit; Ministry of Labour; and the Magistrate’s Court.

This Working Group, led by Director of the Counter Trafficking Unit, Ministry of National Security, Ms. Alana Wheeler, will oversee the implementation of the National Plan of Action Against TiPs 2021-2025. The Plan covers four areas, which include: Effective identification of victims and witnesses; Prevention; Protection of survivors and witnesses; and Prosecution. At the meeting, members of the previous Working Group for the period July 2020-July 2021 presented the National Plan of Action Against TiPs 2021-2025 to the new Working Group.

The NTFWG will support the Inter-Ministerial National Task Force Against Trafficking in Persons (NTFATIP), in accordance with Section 6 of the TiPs Act Chapter 12:10. Some of the objectives of the Working Group will be to assist in the implementation of national plans as approved by the NTFATIP; to make recommendations for strengthening bilateral, multilateral, local and regional capacities to assist trafficking victims, prevent trafficking, prosecute traffickers, and to enhance cooperative efforts between destination countries and countries of origin, and assist in the appropriate reintegration of victims of trafficking. The NTFWG was also tasked with submitting quarterly reports to the Ministry of National Security on its activities and achievements.