Press release

Seychelles remains concerned about the unsubstantiated allegations in the US State Department’s annual trafficking in person’s report

July 29, 2015

Seychelles welcomed the US State Department Report on Trafficking in Persons released earlier this week but finds it unfortunate this new edition of the annual report has not done away with allegations based on anecdotal rather than hard evidence.

Immediately after the fifteenth edition of the Trafficking in Persons Annual Report was released by Secretary of State, John Kerry, at a public event at the State Department in Washington DC this Tuesday, his Seychellois counter-part, Foreign Affairs Minister Joel Morgan, reacted to this new publication.

Minister Morgan said that it is a shared accomplishment for the whole population that Seychelles has maintained its Tier 2 status and that this year’s edition of the report also recorded the efforts made by Seychelles to combat what has been termed modern-day slavery.

He was referring to the report’s observation that “the government of Seychelles increased prevention measures” and illustrated this with the setting up of the National Coordinating Committee on Trafficking in Persons and the two month nationwide media campaign to raise awareness about this scourge. He also welcomed the positive recommendations made by the Report that Seychelles uses “the newly adopted anti-trafficking legislation to investigate and prosecute trafficking offenses, and convict and punish trafficking offenders”, noting that “this is our intention”.

Minister Morgan also welcomed the call for the conduct of “regular and comprehensive inspection of migrant workers’ work sites and inform migrant workers of their rights”, as well as “special training to government officials on how to identify victims of trafficking and refer them to appropriate services”, noting that the latter is already being done through the launching of the Standard Operating Procedure and Referral Manual for Victims of Trafficking in Persons and a training session next week.

In the same breath, Minister Morgan said it was, however, very unfortunate, that this year’s report carry unsubstantiated and unverified allegations regarding instances of human trafficking in Seychelles. He noted that Seychelles is a strong proponent of frank dialogues and constructive criticism with and from its international partners on human rights issues, but emphasized that in order for effective changes to be realized, such dialogues must be based on factual assessments rather than unsubstantiated and unverified information which are not reflective of the real situation in the country.