U.S. Embassy organizes seminar on combating child sexual tourism and trafficking in persons for law enforcement officers and nonprofit organizations

From 25 to 27 March, the Embassy of the United States of America in Dominican Republic seminar “Best Investigative Practices and Joint International Cooperation to combat child sexual tourism and trafficking in persons.”

During the opening ceremony, Ambassador Brewster thanked participants for their outstanding work and urged everyone to continue redoubling their efforts in reducing illicit trafficking, improving public safety, and promoting social justice.

Ambassador Brewster reaffirmed USG strong commitment in this critical area and close collaboration with the Attorney General’s Office and the National Police, allowing for a higher level of coordination, investigation and monitoring across the country.

This seminar provides a forum for more than 100 law enforcement agents and prosecutors have the opportunity to analyze and share their experiences with human trafficking, technical research and indicators, and provide care for victims. In addition, the seminar aims to identify priority goals, enhance the capability of conducting joint investigations with law enforcement authorities in the Dominican Republic in collaboration with experts from the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Services (ICE) in Washington.

Among the organizations present were: representatives of the Attorney General’s Office, National Police, Dominican Navy, the National Council for Childhood and Adolescence (CONANI), the Directorate for Immigration, Specialized Tourism Security Corps (CESTUR), the Specialized Border Security Corps (CESFRONT), the Specialized Airport Security and Civil Aviation Corps (CESAC), the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and representatives of civil society and NGOs.

The three-day seminar will provide a space in which participants can expand their knowledge and develop best practices on current and new trends on investigative practices and methods, use of technology and its criminal applications, joint cooperation regarding child sex tourism and trafficking and challenges presented in the Caribbean region. In addition, panel discussions will focus on increasing awareness, develop expertise, and promote dialogue among staff working with victims of trafficking and increase their knowledge on operations, investigations, and preparation and filing cases for prosecution.

The Dominican Republic is a Tier 2 source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to sex trafficking and forced labor.  Reports indicate that large numbers of Dominican women and children are subjected to sex trafficking throughout the DR, the Caribbean, Europe, South America, the Middle East, and the United States.