President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has reiterated her government’s commitment to fighting human trafficking in Liberia.
President Sirleaf voiced that commitment Tuesday, March 25, when she launched a five-year action plan and Anti-human trafficking campaign at the Monrovia City Hall.
The five-year action plan on human trafficking strives to enable Liberians to satisfy a fundamental international requirement expected of all countries in the global fight against internationally organized crime. Its primary aim is to protect Liberia’s national security interest within the context of the sub region approach.
The Liberian leader said the five-year National Action Plan on Human Trafficking serves as the role map to joining others in fighting human trafficking in Liberia.
“The action plan represents the commitment on the part of Government to match other prior actions it has taken in meeting basic national benchmarks and international obligations by making sure serious action is taken to have zero tolerance in human trafficking,” the President said.
“The National Action Plan also makes Liberia a better place on the rights of defenseless people who should always be guaranteed protection.”
US Ambassador Debora Malac joined President Sirleaf, who called on all parents to take note of those who come and persuade to give their children on the basis of promises only to find out that they are subjected to servitude.
“To further express government’s seriousness to fight this crime, three traffickers have been indicted and taken to prison and waiting trials. Other perpetrators have been prosecuted, and in one case two individuals were unanimously found guilty for illicit trafficking on December 31, 2013,” the President stated.
President Sirleaf described human trafficking as one of the biggest violations of human rights in the world.
Labor Minister, Cllr. F. Juah Lawson, disclosed that statistics have shown that women, men and children are victims of the crime either in their country of origin or abroad.
Giving a brief history on the five-year action plan on the anti trafficking, Min. Lawson said: “Emerging from the devastation of 14 years of civil crisis complemented by the gradual but steady restoration of the rule of law, human trafficking among other Transnational Organized Crimes have become a major post-conflict national security challenge.
Responding to this situation and recognizing the significance of putting in place the requisite legal frame work to deal with matters of human trafficking in Liberia, the transitional Legislative Assembly of the National Transitional Government in 2005 passed an act that banned and criminalize all forms of human trafficking in Liberia.
The Labor Minister continued that the Act specifically established that Trafficking in Person (TIPs) shall mean, “The recruitment, transportation, transfer, harboring or receipt of a person by means of the threat or use of force or other means of coercion or by abduction, fraud, deception, abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability or by giving or receiving of payment s or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person for the purpose of exploitations.”
In April 2013, the Government of Liberia also amended the Panel Law regarding Extortion, Environmental Crimes, Trafficking in Human Beings and Illicit Migrant Smuggling; thereby re-enforcing the legal framework responsible for deadline with these inter-related internationally organized crime.