Women parliamentarians from 22 countries, including eight Caribbean representatives met in Washington DC, as part of a new global network of women leaders for four days of discussions and action planning to address the serious issue of human trafficking of women and girls.
Vice- President of the Inter American Commission for Women and Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Health, Barbados senator, Irene Sandiford-Garner, says the meeting was organized by the Centre For Women Policy Studies GlobalPOWER®.
The Caribbean-Partnership Of Women Elected/Appointed Representatives was convened with an aim to “Building Sustainable Partnerships for Women’s Human Rights.”
According to Senator Sandiford-Garner, the Center’s sixth GlobalPOWER® meeting and the first held solely for Caribbean parliamentarians, is being convened with an objective to engage women leaders, women Members of Parliament and Ministry officials in the Caribbean to advance anti-trafficking laws, policies and programs that focus on protections and services for trafficked women and girls.
Other regional participants include: Senators Malaka Parker and Gail Christian, Antigua and Barbuda; Senator Vynette Frederick, St. Vincent and the Grenadines; Senator Marlene Malahoo Forte, Jamaica; Senator Lyndira Oudit and Minister Verna St. Rose Greaves of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, Minister Alvina Reynolds, St. Lucia, and Senator Pulcheria Teul, Belize.
Among the areas discussed were violence against women and girls to examine the pervasiveness of violence against women and girls in the region; promoting women’s human rights to review the challenges and opportunities for promoting women’s human rights in each country; international trafficking of women and girls as well as creating a women’s human rights response with a view to set the issue of international trafficking of women and girls in the context of women’s human rights and to address its root causes.
The delegates also discussed the reproductive rights and the impact of HIV/AIDS on women and girls, to explore related women’s rights and health crises: reproductive rights and HIV/AIDS.
Policy mechanisms were also under review to examine responses to international trafficking of women and girls within a women’s human rights framework.
Strategic action planning sessions were held to assess each country’s political/personnel power base to support a women’s human rights policy agenda, and action plans will be developed to advance women’s human rights through policy change.
A formal commitment was made to work together regionally, across borders and over time, through GlobalPOWER® Caribbean partnerships.