The Royal Bahamas Defence Force Training Department continues to raise the awareness and sensitize its personnel on the effect of illicit activities with Trafficking in Persons (TIPs) training seminar, which was conducted at the Coral Harbour Base on Friday past.
In keeping with the Commander Defence Force, Commodore Raymond King’s strategic intent to enhancing responsiveness to the security environment nationally and regionally, the RBDF Training Department, led by Lieutenant Commander Origin Deleveaux, who also serves as RBDF TIP’s Liaison Officer, spearheaded a multilayered 1-day TIPs training session at HMBS CORAL HARBOUR.
The session of TIPs Task Force of volunteers was led by Police Superintendent Tess Newbold, Trafficking in Persons Interagency Chairperson Ministry of National Security; Lieutenant Angelo Whitfield, RBDF Prosecution Section; Sargent Sterlin Knowles of the Royal Bahamas Police Force, and Ms. Cheryl Carroll Chief Probation Office Department of Social Services. As the Royal Bahamas Defence Force continues to protect the borders from external threats and the harmful consequences of drugs, arms, human smuggling and poaching, the aim of the seminar was to educate participants on the role of the interagency committee.
It also raises awareness to enable identification, detection, suppression and prosecution of individuals who will attempt to take advantage of people’s vulnerability and exploit them for their personal gains and benefits. The session was conducted in a more comprehensive training in the form of presentations and panel discussions to raise the awareness of inter-agency roles and responsibilities in combatting this transnational crime.
Applicable International Law on Trafficking in Persons Topics covered were; The Bahamas Legislative Framework, National Bodies on TIPs, Victim Identification/Assistance/Protection, Medical Care for Victims, Victim Interviews, Investigations Prosecution and Punishment, Training, National Coordination and Trafficking in Persons Indicators.
Over the years, the Royal Bahamas Defence Force has contributed significantly to the development of the TIPS Task Force from its inception in the areas of training and initial victim identification. The year 2011 marked the introduction of Defence Force personnel to Trafficking in Persons training programs. In 2013, the training programme was expanded to include all Defence Force personnel who sit the Force’s Advancement, Leadership, Supervisory and Managements Courses. This has resulted in over 1300 out of approximately 1500 members receiving initial identity skills and techniques training.
The Defence Force’s role as first responders is therefore critical and the training has enabled Defence personnel to better perform their duties over the past 5 years. This year the TIP Task Force has been invited in to expand the scope of the TIP Training to
include presentations from: the Ministry of National Security, Immigration, Civic Society, Social Services, The Office of the Department Public Prosecution, Royal Bahamas Police Force, Faith Based Organizations, Public Hospital Authority, Foreign Affairs, University Of the Bahamas and The Royal Bahamas Defence Force.
This is the first Training Seminar for this year and over 60 Defence personnel including Doctors and Nurses from Public Hospital Authority received the Awareness Training The overall benefits of this training will assist greatly with improving and sustaining the overall objectives of the United Nations Convention on Human Rights, in particular, Trafficking in Persons, as well as The Bahamas’ Trafficking in Persons Act 2008 and its objective to remain a Tier 1 country.
The Defence Force is a multi-faceted, multi-purpose agency, and Commander Defence Force, Commodore Dr. Raymond King is adamant that partnerships with local law enforcement agencies be strengthened in keeping with the strategic agenda of the Ministry of National Security. As a result, the Force must be adequately prepared to confront a multiplicity of challenges, which includes the prevention, protection and suppression of Trafficking in Persons. Commodore King wishes to express his gratitude for the assistance given by our partner agencies during this year Trafficking in Persons training.