Training of Jamaican border control agencies to prevent illicit trafficking of cultural property

Kingston, June 15-17, 2021

. The profitability of illicit trafficking has perpetuated the looting, damage and destruction of cultural and natural heritage facilities, sites, objects and specimens. Jamaica, much like in other Caribbean and international communities, has been confronted with the illicit trafficking of cultural property.

From 15 to 17 June 2021, UNESCO provided technical support to the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport (MCGES) of Jamaica in the ‘Sensitisation Workshop on Cultural Heritage with a Focus on Border Control Agencies”. The three day workshop successfully trained more than 70 participants daily on the nature, diversity and significance of cultural property, national and international frameworks, as well as strategies and tools used by regional and international communities to combat these illegal activities such as the 1970 UNESCO Convention and the 1995 UNIDROIT Convention.

With UNESCO’s support, Jamaica can focus on capacity building in both the cultural and non-cultural sectors and we hope that these activities will raise Jamaica’s profile in the fight against the illicit trafficking in cultural property.

Hon. Olivia Grange, Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport of Jamaica

The fight against illicit trafficking of cultural goods aims to preserve and manage the cultural diversity of our world, which will contribute to better mutual understanding in terms of good governance worldwide.

Saadia Sanchez-Vegas, Director and Representative of the UNESCO Cluster Office for the Caribbean

The sensitisation workshop was led by archaeologist and Taino expert Dr. Lesley-Gail Atkinson Swaby and included thematic presentations and discussion segments by Miraya Polner, World Customs Organization, Corrado Catesi, INTERPOL, Comisario Mayor Marcelo El Haibe, Policía Federal Argentina, Debra Kay Palmer, Director of World Heritage and Cultural Conventions of the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport of Jamaica, Kadene Campbell, Jamaica National Heritage Trust and Tracy Commock, Institute of Jamaica.

The workshop was mainly targeted at Jamaica’s border patrol agencies, namely the Jamaica Customs Agency (JCA), the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) and the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) Coast Guard.

Jamaica is currently seeking ratification of the 1970 UNESCO Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property and the 1995 UNIDROIT Convention on Stolen or Illegally Exported Cultural Property. In March 2020, a regional workshop was held in Jamaica to address these Conventions.

/Public Release. This material comes from the originating organization and may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. View in full here.