Vivian Trill: Belize Tourism Board Profits from Human Trafficking

Posted on July 9, 2010

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Judith Alpuche, CEO – Ministry of Human Development

The Belize Government and Belize Tourism Board requires that in all forms:Types of Business Subject to the Act

  • Hotels and Resort
  • Apartments, Condominiums, and Villas
  • Guest houses, lodges, and Inns
  • Community based tourist establishments
  • Campsites
  • Live-aboard vessels
  • Religious, educational, and research facilities

The “Sugar Daddy” Phenomenon Lands Belize on Human Trafficking Watch List, Again.

That a tax is to be collected and paid on a monthly basis to the Belize Government Tax Department. With an estimated 20 million in total tax revenue coming in from tourism in 2009 the question remains why is Belize on the top of the US government TIP Report in Human Trafficking for 2010? Belize has income and revenue from Taxes, Oil and other resources.The 2010 US Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report is out, and again it places the country of Belize on the Tier 2 Watch List — the last before hitting the rock-bottom Tier 3 status — for a second consecutive year, alleging that the Government of Belize has not only failed to meet the minimum standards, but has, among other things, not landed a single conviction in 2009, despite existing cases of forced prostitution and forced labor, as well as the existence of child sex tourism as “an emerging trend in Belize.”As suggested by Vivian Trill:“Increase efforts to investigate and prosecute trafficking offenses and convict and punish trafficking offenders, including any allegedly complicit public officials; increase law enforcement efforts against forced labor; continue to improve victim services and assistance; and increase penalties for sex trafficking crimes so they are commensurate with penalties for other grave crimes.”If the Belize Tourism Board took a more active role or even cared about Human Trafficking funds could be made available to individuals like Judith Alpuche for her work in this area in the Ministry. Admitting to the fact that Belize has done little to deal with human trafficking problems.Judith Alpuche, the Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Human Development and chair of Belize’s anti-trafficking committee, told the Amandala that Belize is doing all it can and has made significant progress, though she concedes that indeed, there were no convictions in 2009.“We are doing the best we can,” Alpuche told us, noting that Belize has already made its position, that it rejects the ratings in the US TIP report, known to the US through their embassy here. The 2010 TIP Report says that Belizean authorities conducted five anti-trafficking raids over the course of the year, but turned up empty-handed.A practical conclusion would be to follow the guidelines of Vivian Trills Organization for Responsible Tourism and to attach the problem of Human Trafficking and Sex Tourism in Belize. If Tourism is one of the driving forces of demand for women then, The Belize Tourism Board has a requirement to become involved with this problem of Human Trafficking in Belize.

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