From the Jamaica Gleaner:
A report on human trafficking in Jamaica, commissioned by the National Task Force against Trafficking in Persons within the Ministry of National Security, reveals a connection between sexual exploitation, forced labour and tourism.
Completed late last year, the report: 'Human trafficking for sexual exploitation and forced labour in Jamaica', was prepared by Sybil Ricketts and Dr Leith Dunn of Kingston-based Searchcon Resource Consultants. The study was conducted in Kingston and St Andrew, Negril in Westmoreland and Montego Bay, St James.
The findings indicate that the tourist industry, more specifically, the informal sex industry, is a significant contributor to the exploitation of individuals. The findings showed that several children in the western resort town of Negril were victims of human trafficking, which was directly related to increased advertising for escort services. Eleven victims from the area were singled out in the study.
"Girls as young as 13 are full-fledged prostitutes," the report noted, stating that some of them live on their own, while others are taken to holding areas in the communities and used as dancers in the more popular nightclubs.
The study also showed consistent poor school attendance by minors in Negril. It says "many (young girls) were observed loitering on a daily basis in the town".
A non-random sampling method was used to select persons for interviews, and a snowballing method employed to reach a sample size of 29 victims. Snowballing involves identifying key informants who then referred researchers to other respondents.
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