Youth Development Minister urges young people to get involved in the fight against human trafficking

Minister of Youth Development and National Service – the Honourable Foster Cummings is photographed with representatives from United Nations High Commissioner Refugees, Rotary Club of Central Port of Spain and the 2023 Model United Nations delegates.

Youth Development and National Service Minister, the Honourable Foster Cummings, has urged young people in Trinidad and Tobago to prepare themselves for getting involved in the fight against human trafficking.

He said this is a global challenge which respects no borders, which preys on the vulnerable, destroying lives and undermining the very principles upon which the United Nations was founded.

These, he said, included human rights, dignity and justice. As young leaders and diplomats, he said, “you must confront the issue, with determination and dignity.”

Minister Cummings was delivering the feature address, at the opening ceremony of the 2023 edition of the Model UN debate, which was held at the Radisson Hotel in Port of Spain on October 28th.

This issue, he said, “takes many forms, from forced labour and sexual exploitation, to child soldier recruitment and organ trafficking.

“It is a complex and multi-faceted problem, deeply rooted in poverty, inequality and the breakdown of social structures,” he added. The Minister also said that understanding the problem, was a step in the direction of combatting it.

“You are the generation that can drive change, advocate for justice and help create a world in which human trafficking and other related issues which impact your peers, can become issues of the past,” he said.

“You are not alone,” he told his audience. “Advocate for stronger laws, better enforcement and comprehensive support,” he said. “Use your voices and the many available platforms, to raise awareness about this and other issues impacting young people everywhere. Give support to organisations such as the Rotary Club, which are working on the frontlines to rescue and rehabilitate victims.”

The Rotary Club of Central Port of Spain has been hosting the local version of the Model UN programme for the past 23 years. President of the Club, Ms Elitha Rocke-Maharaj, described the event as an important one on the club’s calendar.