The Ministry of National Security yesterday launched its Trafficking In Persons (TIP) hotline.
During a press conference at police headquarters, Minister of National Security Marvin Dames described human trafficking as modern-day slavery that robs individuals of their humanity and rights.
“The government of The Bahamas takes a victim-centered and human rights-based approach to human trafficking, and the introduction of the TIP hotline punctuates the government of The Bahamas’ commitment to combatting trafficking in this country,” he said.
The 24-hour hotline is the first of its kind in The Bahamas.
It will allow victims and anyone who suspects that a person is being trafficked to report the crime anonymously.
This comes in the wake of a boating disaster that saw 31 Haitians die after their ship ran aground in waters off Abaco last month.
The incident saw increased national concern over human trafficking, and calls for greater repercussions for those found to be responsible in the illicit activity.
Dames said the hotline will be overseen by the TIP secretariat personnel within the Ministry of National Security.
“It is the intent of the TIP hotline to aid in accelerating the response time by authorities to victims of trafficking, and thereby provide victims of trafficking another lifeline to secure assistance,” he said.
Callers will be able to access the TIP hotline by dialing the 24-hour line at 376-8477 (TIPS).
On Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., people can dial 326-0133, and Family Island callers can access the hotline toll-free by calling 300-3339.
Dames said, “The Ministry of National Security and by extension the government of The Bahamas will continue to advocate for victims, and by launching this hotline we are taking a crucial step towards empowering victims to report crimes and end this shameful and criminal practice.”
Education: Virginia in Charlottesville, BA in Foreign Affairs and Spanish