Deputy Labor Minister Assures Liberia’s Preparedness to Improve Fight Against TIP

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Minister Dixon.

Deputy Labor Minister for Planning, Attorney Phil T. Dixon says the International Labor Organization (ILO), the International Organization for Migration (IOM), ECOWAS and other international partners have shown great interest in supporting Liberia’s engagement in the fight against trafficking in persons in Liberia.

Dixon said that in the last few months, many requests sent to these international organizations have received a greater level of support. He said that this level of support is a vote of confidence in efforts the current administration at the Ministry of Labor is giving to the issues of human trafficking and child labor.

Minister Dixon informed participants that the National Focal Point representative and other law enforcement agencies have been invited for a regional training in Lomé, Togo. The training is sponsored by ILO and the ECOWAS Commission in support of the Free Movement and Migration in West Africa Project.

Dixon said that because of the importance the Government of Liberia attaches to the fight against trafficking in persons, the Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Task force’s regular meeting is now pushed to a level that a number of cabinet ministers are attending.

He assured the participants that the country is prepared to take steps towards improving its status in the fight against TIP, child labor and other ills in society and is optimistic of the success of this training as the trainers possess a high level of capacity.

Minister Dixon made these assertions on Monday, November 5, at the opening of a four-day Step Down Training for National Trafficking in Persons Focal Points (NFPs) held in Monrovia.

The objectives of the training are to Enhance participants’ understanding of the current trends in the areas of TIP, Forced Labor, Child Labor and Labor Migration; share best practices in the elimination of TIP, Forced Labor, and Child Labor; and Sensitize participants on Alliance 8.7 and discuss on how to establish/strengthen its coordination.

ILO Country Director, Dennis Zulu, National Prgram Officer, ILO/FMM West Africa Project, Dr. Agatha Kolawole said that Liberia is among four countries in West Africa that were selected to benefit from this Step Down Training of TIP National Focal points.

She said that Liberia was selected because of the request sent to the ILO and also that the country has earlier submitted a need for training the Demand Driven Fund of the FMM project. She noted that this training is basically aimed at building the capacity of NFPs in the five thematic areas and also to strengthen coordination in the combat of TIP, Child Labor and Forced Labor at the national level. She noted that these are major gaps in most ECOWAS countries and stressed the need for more coordination in order to achieve these objectives.

Participants posed with Minister Dixon shortly after the opening ceremony.

She named the five thematic modules as “Understanding the issues, Preventing Trafficking and Exploitation, Protecting People at Risk, Protecting People in the Workplace and Matters of Process.”

She told participants that a blended training program was developed by the project in partnership with the ITC-ILO to enhance NFPs ability to deliver national level training targeting multiple stakeholders in the ECOWAS region. The blended training consists of an online course and a face to face workshop.

Dr. Kolawole said that the blended training program was developed to enhance NFPs ability to deliver national level training targeting multiple stakeholders in the ECOWAS region. The blended training consists of an online course and a face to face workshop. The trained NFPs were expected to step down the training to their counterparts at the National level

The workshop will also sensitize stakeholders on achieving SDG 8.7 relating to Force Labor, Child Labor and Trafficking. SDG 8.7 seeks to “Take immediate and effective measures to eradicate forced labor, end modern slavery and human trafficking and secure the prohibition and elimination of the worst forms of child labor, including recruitment and use of child soldiers, and by 2025 end child labor in all its worst forms,” and create a safe and healthy workplace for the next generation (s).

In view of this, the workshop will sensitize participants on their role in achieving target 8.7 through Alliance 8.7.  This is in a bid to promote a more coordinated and pro-active intervention to accelerate the elimination of TIP, child labor and force labor at the country level. The workshop will provide a forum to discuss operation of Alliance 8.7 at the country level and to provide concrete recommendations on the way forward.

The training is being attended by members of the Anti-Human Trafficking Task force, law enforcement officers, civil society organizations (CSOs) and other partners in the fight against human trafficking, child labor and forced labor in Liberia.

The workshop is implemented by the ILO and sponsored by the European Union in collaboration with ECOWAS within the framework of the Support to Free Movement of Persons and Migration in West Africa Project.

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