New law to counter people smuggling -Attorney General

Last Updated on Tuesday, 3 August 2021, 14:19 by Writer

Attorney General Anil Nandlall on Tuesday said government was drafting new legislation to counter people smuggling.

In contributing to a debate on the Adoption of Children (Amendment) Bill, he said the new trafficking Bill would also include provisions to specifically protect children.

“We have a new trafficking Bill that will be brought to the Parliament that has in it several provisions that will go hand-in-hand here with the provisions here against transnational smuggling,” he said.

The Attorney General stopped short of referring to a recent Presidential Order that revoked the automatic six-month visa-free entry of Haitians to Guyana. In recent months, police had intercepted or found a number Haitian children and youths in Berbice, along the Linden-Lethem trail and in Lethem.

“There is a lot of people smuggling that we are speaking about and we are taking drastic measures to guard against them,” he said.

Mr. Nandlall explained that Bill amends the Adoption of Children Act, Cap. 46:04 by inserting a new Part IVA to give The Hague Convention of 29 May 1993 on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption the force of law in Guyana.

The Bill is consistent with the fundamental purpose and intention of The Hague Convention. Guyana became a state party to the Convention on 1 st June 2019, joining only Haiti and St. Kitts as a CARICOM nation to be a contracting party to the Convention.

As of this year, The Hague Convention has over 100 Contracting Parties, including United States of America, United Kingdom, India, Albania, Australia, Belize, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Fiji, France, Ireland, Lithuania, Ghana and Zambia.