HAVANA TIMES – Representatives from Cuba’s Ministry of Interior (MININT) and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) signed an agreement today to reinforce co-operation on sex related crimes, Cuban news agency ACN reported.
The agreement takes bilateral cooperation efforts into account to protect children and adolescents from the sex trade, pornography, sex trafficking and other forms of sexual abuse.
More specifically, it sets out to extend multilateral agreements that have been in place for over 20 years to share information, carry out joint investigations and train their police forces.
The document reinforces “both countries’ willingness to respect the objectives of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and its Optional Protocol on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography,” according to statements made at the meeting that took place at the headquarters of MININT’s Department of International Relations and Collaboration.
The cooperation agreement of police forces in both Cuba and Canada include a supplementary protocol from the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children.
The new bilateral agreement formalizes these operations and extends them to other categories that include experts sharing experiences and sharing applied technologies to prevent and tackle the above-mentioned crimes.
Written in Spanish, English and French, the document was signed by Colonel Idais Borges Barrios, head of MININT’s Department of Minors, and Marie Claude Arsenault, General Director of the Canadian Police Centre for Missing and Exploited Children.
Cuban ambassador, Josefina Vidal Barreiro, and Canadian ambassador, Patrick Parisot, were witnesses to the signing.
In 1999, both governments countersigned a memorandum of understanding about cooperation efforts in the fight against drug trafficking, and in 2003, an agreement about the distribution of seized assets or equivalent funds.
Cuba proposed a national 2017-2020 action plan of “zero tolerance” against sexual-related crimes, tracking and apprehending human traffickers and offering protection to its victims.
A report presented at the end of last year stipulated that eight foreigners are currently serving sentences in Cuba for sexual crimes against minors: three Italians, two Spanish, one German, one Indian and one British man.