U.S.-Jamaica Child Protection Compact (CPC) Partnership
Kingston, Jamaica – The Governments of the United States and Jamaica finalized a new partnership to combat child trafficking. The U.S.-Jamaica Child Protection Compact (CPC) Partnership, signed today by Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Marcia Gilbert-Roberts and U.S. Chargé d’Affaires Eric Khant, is a jointly-developed, four-year plan to enhance the efforts of the Jamaican government and civil society to combat child trafficking. This is the first such partnership in the Caribbean and the fourth in the world.
Today’s signing was the culmination of months of collaboration between the two countries, with Jamaica’s National Task Force Against Trafficking in Persons (NATFATIP) leading the development of this partnership in negotiation with the U.S. Department of State’s Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons (TIP Office).
During the occasion, Chargé d’Affaires Khant expressed that “the United States is pleased to partner with NATFATIP and its member entities, as well as with dedicated civil society organizations, to work collaboratively to protect Jamaica’s children and defend its future.”
The U.S.-Jamaica CPC Partnership will strengthen and expand efforts in Jamaica to effectively prosecute and convict child traffickers; identify and provide comprehensive, trauma-informed care to child victims of these crimes; and prevent child trafficking in all its forms. CPC Partnership objectives include increasing the number of victim-centered investigations, prosecutions, and convictions of child trafficking cases; strengthening government and civil society capacity to identify and provide comprehensive services to more child trafficking victims; and increasing efforts to prevent child trafficking, including through developing and strengthening community-based mechanisms.
The Government of Jamaica has pledged to dedicate staff resources and operating budget to support achievement of the Partnership’s objectives. The signing of the CPC Partnership facilitates planned TIP Office programming of U.S. $4.5 million in support of these objectives. The TIP Office will select NGOs, international organizations and/or other relevant organizations to serve as implementing partners following a competitive grant application process, with program activities expected to commence before the end of the year.
The CPC Partnership reflects a shared concern that child trafficking has a devastating and lasting impact on children, undermines security and the rule of law, and is sometimes linked to organized crime, gang violence, corrupt officials, or other criminal activity.
Children in Jamaica are subjected to both sex and labor trafficking. Child sex trafficking may occur in bars, nightclubs, hotels, massage parlors, in the tourism sector, and within communities. Child labor trafficking may take the form of domestic servitude, forced criminal activity, forced begging, and forced child labor in fishing, on farms, or in shops, construction sites, or markets.
Both governments have committed to working collaboratively in Jamaica over the next four years to support improved and sustainable policies and practices to combat all forms of child trafficking.
For more information about the TIP Office, please visit: https://www.state.gov/j/tip/. For more information about Child Protection Compact Partnerships, please visit: https://www.state.gov/j/tip/cpc/.