UNESCO Regional Seminar on the Fight Against Illicit Trafficking in Cultural Property for the Caribbean


Castries, Santa Lucia, 3-5 December 2012


The main objective was to strengthen the fight against illicit trafficking in Cultural Property in the Caribbean.


The participants worked around four thematic debates. Each debate was introduced and chaired by one of the country's representatives, and its summary was provided by a representative from a different country. The summaries of the debates, including the challenges identified and the recommendations, were presented in the closing session of the workshop for their validation.


It concluded with the commitment from the 25 participants from 14 countries in the region to take concrete actions at legal and operational levels to improve their capacity to fight illicit trafficking in cultural property and to strengthen international cooperation.

Some of the agreed actions include:

  • the request for the inclusion of an item in relation to the fight against illicit traffic in cultural property on the agenda of the 19th Forum of Ministers of Culture and Officials in Charge of Cultural Policies of Latin America and the Caribbean;
  • the creation or identification of specialised law enforcement services responsible for the fight against illicit traffic of cultural property;
  • as well as the development of training of police, customs officials and all civil and military personnel involved at the front line of the fight against that phenomenon.

The recommendations will be used as a basis for guidelines to be published in the periodical of the UNESCO Havana Office 'Culture and Development', in a special issue devoted to the fight against illicit trafficking of cultural property.

Participants & experts

Representatives from Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Saint Kitts and Nevis, St Maarten, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname and Saint Lucia exchanged experiences, information and best practices and received targeted legal and operational training and awareness raising activities from institutions such as INTERPOL and UNIDROIT (International Institute for the Unification of Private Law), the World Customs Organization and specialists from UNESCO to help them strengthen joint actions to confront this problem.

The excellent collaboration between the Saint Lucia National Commission for UNESCO and the UNESCO offices in Havana and Kingston demonstrated the potential for efficient regional cooperation through these entities.

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