In November 2018, the IAWJ launched a Counter-Trafficking in Persons Working Group in the Latin America and Caribbean region. This program is designed to increase capacity of justice sector actors to combat trafficking in persons. The regional working group includes judges and other justice officials from the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Argentina, Chile, Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica, Guyana, Saint Lucia, Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.

Information about our programs available here.


Regional Conference on Trafficking in Persons in Latin America and the Caribbean 2019

As part of this project, the IAWJ convened a Regional Conference on Trafficking in Persons in Latin America and the Caribbean in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic (DR) on July 30th and 31st 2019, to commemorate World Day Against Trafficking in Persons on July 30. This conference was held in collaboration with the Association of Women Judges of the Dominican Republic (AJURD), the Dominican Republic’s (DR) Constitutional Court (TC), the DR’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MIREX), the DR’s Superior Electoral Court (TSE), the Dominican Council of the Judicial Power, IAWJ affiliated associations in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC), and the United States Embassy in the DR.

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This conference is part of IAWJ’s two-year program “Countering Trafficking in Persons in the Dominican Republic: Multi-sector Response & Local Resilience in Targeted Vulnerable Communities,” funded by the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons (JTIP) of the US Department of State.

One of the key goals of the conference was to initiate dialogue and promote cooperation between key TIP stakeholders throughout the region. The conference sought to create a platform to encourage experts to share their experiences, techniques and innovative approaches to minimizing re-victimization, improving investigations and raising public awareness about human trafficking. 

(Above Photo L-R: Judge Jovita Alicia Rojas (Paraguay), Human Rights Lawyer, Jenny Moron for MUDHA (Dom. Republic), Program Director, Gemma Bardaji for Free the Slaves (Dom. Republic), Executive Director of Libera Foundation, Carolina Rudnick (Chile) discuss public outreach messaging and campaigns).

Over 150 expert stakeholders from across the region participated, including judges, prosecutors, police officers, advocates and service providers hailing from Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, Guayana, Belize, Saint Lucia, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, and the United States.

Throughout the conference, participants and panelists exchanged ideas and were encouraged to develop strategies for enhanced transnational cooperation. The conference also provided an opportunity for regional, international, and local Dominican organizations to showcase their current initiatives in combatting human trafficking. Organizations such as LUMOS, Free the SlavesParticipación Ciudadana, the International Justice Mission and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) shared their approaches and provided on-site materials for conference participants.

Some of the key issues addressed by the conference include:

  • The need to provide greater court-room orientation for victims; 
  • Identifying points of contact in countries that can support transnational coordination;
  • Creating multilingual public awareness campaigns for foreign victims. 
(Above Photo L-R: Judge Grecia Norceus (Haití), Prosecutor Jonathan Baro (Dom. Republic), Superintendent Anthony McLaughlin (Jamaica), Judge Natalia Molina (Argentina) discuss best practices in evidence collection, case development, and trials). 

The IAWJ has prepared a conference report.
Access the report in:
English | Español | Français

You can watch Day 1 and 2 of the conference below:

Below is a list of the associations that participated in the conference:

For more information contact Senior Program Officer, Jane Charles-Voltaire at jcharles-voltaire@iawj.org.

*Financing for this conference was provided by the US Government.