CIBC FIRSTCARIBBEAN ASSISTS CARIBBEAN ANTI-HUMAN TRAFFICKING FOUNDATION

Closed borders and the difficulties of travel due to the COVID-19 pandemic have resulted in a number of people being stranded in Barbados and around the world, some without food, basic medicines and the means by which they can return to their homeland.

Most of these people are often exploited; some may even have been trafficked and are in the unfortunate position of being unable to access the social services on island. Many of them have therefore turned to the Caribbean Anti-Human Trafficking Foundation for help.

The foundation has assisted persons who were on holiday but stranded because of closed borders, persons who were on work permits with businesses that have closed but they are not entitled to unemployment benefits and now elderly persons who have lived here without status and so cannot receive a pension. In order to assist these various people, the foundation appealed to CIBC FirstCaribbean to help provide humanitarian assistance.

"<em>At present we have some people who are in urgent need of help including one pregnant lady and another who has just delivered a baby and they are in dire need of food and baby clothing. The foundation expresses its sincere thanks to CIBC FirstCaribbean for this support during this unforeseen crisis</em>," <strong>Dr. Olivia Smith</strong>, Executive Director of the foundation said as she accepted the donation from the bank.

At present we have some people who are in urgent need of help including one pregnant lady and another who has just delivered a baby and they are in dire need of food and baby clothing. The foundation expresses its sincere thanks to CIBC FirstCaribbean for this support during this unforeseen crisis,” Dr. Olivia Smith, Executive Director of the foundation said as she accepted the donation from the bank.

Michelle Whitelaw, Director Retail Banking Channels, stated “CIBC FirstCaribbean recognises the difficult times that we are in and that there are some people who are suffering for various reasons. We are happy to partner with the Caribbean Anti-Human Trafficking Foundation to support them as they reach out to those in need of help.”

The four trustees of the Anti-Human Trafficking Foundation comprise a team of experts who work to provide capacity building assistance to state and non-state agencies on initiatives aimed at managing migration related issues. They also work closely with many groups including the various Consulates in Barbados, to try to repatriate their citizens who may wish to return home.

Dr. Smith is the Project Coordinator for the American Bar Association Rule of Law Initiative (ABAROLI) Barbados and Fellow of McGill University, Canada also served as Deputy Programme Manager, CARICOM Secretariat for the Free Movement of Persons regime and once served as an Immigration Officer before heading the foundation which helps manage migrants and the issues that they face.

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