Human Trafficking in the Caribbean Developing Caribbean-Centered Ways to Fight the Crime

Main Article Content

Gabrielle McKenzie


Human trafficking is a problem that has existed throughout time and in every corner of the world. Its causes and solutions are complex and directly tied to the individual dynamics within a region or country. Invariably, the ability to respond to the problem starts with a recognition of the specific socioeconomic and cultural challenges faced by a particular region. The Caribbean presents particular complexities in defining and responding to the problem. Anecdotal reports suggest that the region suffers from significant rates of human trafficking, but little is known about the prevalence and true scope of the crime. Recent efforts to fight trafficking in the region include legislative and policy initiatives. Unfortunately, some of these efforts are flawed insofar as they are based on Western models, with relatively little input from stakeholders in the region. Evidence suggests that these efforts, while admirable, fail because they are not sufficiently nuanced to capture and address the socioeconomic and cultural causes of trafficking in the Caribbean. Surveying the region’s human trafficking experts—namely survivors, NGOs focused on trafficking in the Caribbean, scholars, government actors, and policy makers—may be a step toward filling the data gap and developing anti-trafficking solutions that are better suited to the region. Data from a survey gathering regional experts’ input on the strengths and weaknesses of different Caribbean countries’ responses to human trafficking could empower the Caribbean region to tackle the issues with solutions created by and for Caribbean people. Altering or expanding on existing solutions in ways that address the unique cultural, social, economic, and geographic situation of the Caribbean will ultimately be the most effective way to eradicate human trafficking in the region.

Article Details