GEORGETOWN – Leaders of the Guyana Women Miner’s Organisation (GWMO), which represents the rights of women miners and others who work in hinterland communities, met with Ambassador D. Brent Hardt and other U.S. Embassy officials on April 25. Simona Broomes, President of the GWMO, presented an overview of the organization’s goals, which include highlighting the roles and contributions of women miners; calling attention to the challenges they face; helping to secure financing and access to credit; establishing standardized procedures for resolving challenges; and addressing issues of abuse, trafficking in persons, and forced prostitution.
Broomes and her colleagues shared perspectives with the Ambassador about the issue of trafficking in persons (TIP) in mining communities and how the GWMO has assisted victims of this crime. She said that the organization seeks to strengthen its network of support to counter TIP in the mining communities. Ambassador Hardt praised this engagement on behalf of victims, observing that meeting the challenge from TIP requires the active engagement and collaboration of dedicated NGO’s such as the Miner’s Association working in close cooperation with the government and the international community. He noted, as President Obama has stated, that the United States “stand(s) with those throughout the world who are working every day to end modern slavery, bring traffickers to justice, and empower survivors to reclaim their rightful freedom.”
The Ambassador added that trafficking is a global problem, and that close collaboration with grassroots organizations such as the Guyana Women Miner’s Association, in combination with a victim-centered approach, will help ensure that every man, woman, and child is free from trafficking in persons. The Ambassador assured Broomes that the U.S. Embassy looks forward to supporting GWMO’s interaction with its network of TIP partner organizations and institutions in order to more comprehensively address trafficking in persons.
The GWMO expressed interest in participating in training opportunities and workshops for HIV/AIDS and gender issues. As an organization that promotes gender equality in a sector that has traditionally been dominated by men, the GWMO conveyed its eagerness to learn more, as well as share their valuable insights.