US Govt Commits To Combat Human Trafficking -Donates educational materials to GOL

Being deeply concerned about the challenges facing Liberia to address the problem of human trafficking within its border, the United States Government through its Embassy near Monrovia has donated some educational materials to the Government of Liberia as way of providing support in the legal arena to address the embarrassing national problem.

According to a dispatch from the Embassy, US Ambassador to Liberia, Michael McCarthy visited Frank Musah Dean and Cllr. Francis Korkpor, Minister of Justice and Chief Justice of the Supreme Court in their respective offices, donated the newly developed Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Legal Handbook for Prosecutors and TIP Bench-Book for judges, respectively.

The release said that the books were developed by the International Development Law Organization (IDLO) as part of a $2 million cooperative agreement funded by the International Narcotics and Law Enforcement (INL) Bureau of the U.S. Department of State and will play an essential role in combating Trafficking in Persons in Liberia.

In July this year, the annual TIP report, which is the world’s most comprehensive resource of the anti-trafficking efforts of governments globally and officially being issued by the U. S. States Department downgraded Liberia to Tier Two Watchlist which means that the government did not fully meet the minimum standards for the elimination of human trafficking, even considering the measures required to try to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in 2020.

“The return of Liberia to Tier Two Watchlist on the TIP Report was a disappointment to all and a reminder of the intense work needed to make and sustain progress,” Ambassador McCarthy remarked at the ceremony. “Fortunately, the TIP Report also offers a clear action plan. One of the top recommendations was to ‘Train law enforcement and judicial officials on identifying, investigating, and prosecuting trafficking cases under the 2005 anti-trafficking law.’”He further stated. The IDLO developed handbooks will be the cornerstone of this training effort.

The release said that the TIP Report also acts as a guide to improving a country’s status by recommending a number of specific steps that can improve the ranking, which includes but is not limited to providing sufficient funding for victim support services to increase the number of investigations, prosecutions, and—most importantly— convictions.

“The report also strongly recommended much needed changes to the 2005 Human Trafficking Law. Ambassador McCarthy lamented the consequences of inaction, “The failure to make these changes—or even to engage seriously in conversation about an amendment—puts millions of dollars in U.S. assistance to Liberia at risk. Through their silence, legislators may think they are not making any statement, but in fact they are sending a message to both traffickers and victims that fighting human trafficking is not a priority. I hope legislators decide this issue is worth their time this year and make the necessary reforms to the law”, the release concluded.

Comments are closed.