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This profile was last updated on 11/6/12  and contains information from public web pages.

Ms. Simona Broomes

Wrong Simona Broomes?


Women Miners Association

Employment History

  • President
    Guyana Women Miners Organization
  • President
    The GWMO

Board Memberships and Affiliations

  • Founder
    Guyana Women Miners Organization
21 Total References
Web References
The child did not appear to ..., 6 Nov 2012 [cached]
The child did not appear to be in bad health but was performing dangerous work that should only be done by adults, said Simona Broomes, president of the Women Miners Association.
His exact age was not known, but he appeared to be no older than eight. He was found in the remote Puruni region, near the Venezuela border as Broome and members of her group performed a tour of work camps to check on working conditions.
The boy was placed in protective custody while he works with local authorities to locate his mother, who is believed to be working in another gold mining camp, she said.
"What concerned us the most is that he is not going to school and was talking and cursing like the other grown men in the camp and contributing to the conversation as though he is a grown man," Broomes said in a phone interview while traveling by river through the rugged region.
In this image released by the ..., 20 June 2013 [cached]
In this image released by the Bureau of Education & Cultural Affairs of the U.S. Department of State, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, right, hands to Simona Broomes, of Guyana, her plaque as a 2013 TIP Report Hero, during the release of the 13th Annual Trafficking in Persons Report on Wednesday, June 19, 2013 in Washington.
As president of the Guyana Women Miners Organization, one of the world's few women mining associations, Broomes travels regularly to thriving gold and diamond mining camps in the South American country of Guyana to rescue underage girls working as prostitutes. She was honored among seven other people from all parts of the World for their personal efforts that have made an extraordinary difference in the global fight against modern slavery.
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico-As president of one of the world's few associations for women miners, Simona Broomes travels regularly to gold and diamond mining camps in the South American country of Guyana to rescue underage girls working as prostitutes.
Many consider it dangerous work given the rugged, isolated and male-dominated environment she encounters, but that has not deterred the 43-year-old mother of three. This week, she was one of nine people worldwide that U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry honored for their work in helping fight human trafficking.
Broomes recently began carrying a gun after she was assaulted during one of her trips earlier this year, and she began organizing barbecues to help raise money to pay for her trips after death threats forced her to close her mining equipment business about two months ago.
"I'm not going to say to you that it's not risky," she told The Associated Press in a telephone interview. "(But) I have a passion for it. ... As a mother, as a woman, it is hard. I can't leave them."
Broomes was honored Wednesday when the U.S. issued its 2013 report on human trafficking, which again criticized Guyana for allowing girls and foreign women to be forced into prostitution and for relying on child labor.
That's where Broomes has stepped in, U.S. officials say.
"Ms. Broomes is a consistently powerful, vocal advocate against trafficking in persons and continues to take direct action-often at great personal risk-to protect and assist victims of trafficking," the U.S. Embassy in Guyana said in a statement.
After Broomes established the Guyana Women Miners Organization last year, which now has 440 members, she quickly turned her attention to helping underage prostitutes. She has rescued 11 girls so far, allowing some of them to temporarily live with her to avoid the poor conditions at some Guyanese shelters for abused women.
Broomes said she takes the girls to church and to the beauty salon to help reintroduce them to society.
"When you hear the stories, and the things that men do to them ...," Broomes said, her voice trailing off.
She said some of the rescued girls are not picked up from the shelters by their mothers because the women cannot afford to care for them. The mothers generally already had given the girls over to strangers who promised to find them legitimate work in Guyana's interior. Broomes said.
"After they find themselves there, there is no help, there is no security, there is no communication," she said.
When Broomes embarks on one of her trips, she approaches a mining camp director and asks permission to educate those at the camp about human trafficking.
"While doing that, in many cases, I will look to see the language of the girls," she said.
She then quietly takes some of them aside and asks their age.
"They start to panic and cry," she said. "One of them said, 'Miss Broomes, I'm 18. I want to leave and I can't leave ... could you help me out?'"
Sometimes girls seek help from authorities, but even then they could face danger. Broomes said one girl went to a police station to report she had been sexually assaulted, only to be assaulted by an officer.
The U.S. says cases against human trafficking suspects rarely make it to court in Guyana, and officials say no one has yet been convicted of sex or labor trafficking.
Guyana's deputy police chief, Seelall Persaud, told The Associated Press that he could not comment on the report because he was in a meeting but would be available later for an interview.
Broomes said she hopes she can work together with government officials so the U.S. can be less critical of Guyana in next year's report.
"I use the report as motivation to stand to the challenge and say my country will not continue to be on the radar," she said.
GWMO President Simona ..., 1 July 2013 [cached]
GWMO President Simona Broomes
GWMO President Simona Broomes
Over the weekend, Guyana Women Miners' Organisation (GWMO) President Simona Broomes led a team into 14 Mile Issano, Region Seven and rescued five girls from apparent sex slavery.
Broomes told Guyana Times that GWMO ventured into the mining district in search of a teenager who was allegedly trafficked into the interior. The child's mother had turned to the group for assistance.
However, by the time Broomes, who was honoured as one of the U.S. 2013 Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Heroes, and her team arrived on Saturday, some victims had already been ordered into hiding by their perpetrators. "They were told go into the Backdam," she said.
GWMO members then began to comb the area. Broomes said she, along with another member, noticed two girls walking away from a heavily vegetated area before hiding behind a house.
According to Broomes, the 18- and 20 year-olds related a horrific tale of how they were forced into prostitution after being lured into the area. They were promised good paying jobs.
Upon hearing the story, Broomes immediately ventured into the commercial zone and informed the woman that it is against the laws of Guyana to hold persons against their will.
"Myself and team went to the proprietor of the business and we informed her that the two young ladies wanted to go home, but they were unable, because they had owed her large amounts of money."
Although, reluctant in the initial stage, the businesswoman cooperated with the GWMO members. Broomes said as she began to comb through the financial records with the woman, she was bemused that the proprietor was holding one of the girls because of a meagre $2000 debt. The 18- and 20-year-old victims were subsequently handed over to GWMO.
Meanwhile, while staying at a hotel in the area, Broomes met another TIP victim. The 26-year-old had paid her way to freedom, but was worried about a 16-year-old who was left behind.
According to the U.S. 2013 TIP Hero, the young ladies had met a guy in a popular city bar who promised the elder of the two a job in the interior. The 26-year-old subsequently met a woman who spoke of the glorious opportunities available in the interior in the domestic field. "She indicated to the woman that the girl that was with her was 16 years old, and her mommy is expecting her back in Port Kaituma, but the woman said, 'Don't bother with that, I will take care of her and send her back in two weeks' time'," Broomes said.
Upon proceeding out of the interior, as mandatory, Broomes, her team, the trafficked victims and the alleged trafficker stopped in their vehicles at the police outpost.
"So I called the police in uniform and I said; 'Listen, this officer is involved in a matter, you will have to investigate' and I called the commander the same time and special instructions were given," Broomes explained.
Broomes also rescued a 14-year-old girl. The little girl's mother who has a shop in the interior had forced her, along with her two sisters, into prostitution.
On April 21, four girls, ages 14, 15, 17 and 18 were rescued from prostitution in the Puruni Back Dam, Region Seven by Broomes and her GWMO members. Shortly after, a policeman was charged with human trafficking. He was accused of trafficking one of the four girls. The popular Bartica businesswoman, who was identified by the girls as the main perpetrator, was arrested and charged approximately two weeks ago. She is reportedly behind bars awaiting trial.
Broomes said she is expecting more from the police, saying "the main fact that we have gone a step further to bring out an alleged trafficker, we expect more out of the investigations... because we are not only sensitising but we are going out there."
Simona Broomes, President of ... [cached]
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.
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.
Simona Broomes of the ..., 5 Nov 2012 [cached]
Simona Broomes of the Women Miners Association says the boy's exact age could not be determined but he appears to be no older than eight.
He was panning for gold with adults in the remote Puruni region near the Venezuela border.
Broomes said Monday the boy was taken into protective custody while she works with authorities to locate his mother.
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