In a statement to mark World Day Against Trafficking in Persons the International Development Law Organization (IDLO) applauds the work of First Responders working on the frontlines and enhancing efforts to combat trafficking in persons
Trafficking in persons (TIP) is one of the most serious crimes and a severe human rights violation. Trafficking in Persons affects women, children and men. Victims regularly face multiple forms of exploitation and violence. Trafficking in Persons often involves practices such as slavery, sexual exploitation, child labor, forced labor, forced marriage and illicit organ removal which are themselves violations of basic human rights and prohibited under international human rights law. Trafficking in Persons occurs in every part of the world and happens in cities, suburbs and rural towns and villages, to victims of any race, class, age or gender.
Every year since 2013 the global community comes together to commemorate, the World Day against Trafficking in Persons on July 30. The annual commemoration of July 30 is an important milestone in raising awareness about the situation of victims of human trafficking in order to enhance promotion and protection of their rights. This year the commemoration on July 30 is held under the theme “committed to the cause – working on the frontline to end human trafficking”. The theme for this year provides an opportunity to recognize and celebrate first responders working on the front lines of efforts to combat trafficking in persons.
In Liberia as in many other countries, the role of first responders has been severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. IDLO recognizes the measures taken by the Government of Liberia in tackling human trafficking. IDLO further recognizes the urgent need to support first responders as frontline actors working to combat Trafficking in Persons. As the global COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve, IDLO recalls global, regional and national commitments to combating Trafficking in Persons, especially calling for the protection of women and children.
Commemorating July 30 provides an opportunity to reinforce efforts in combating Trafficking in Persons, but to also rally all stakeholders and the Government of Liberia to action in protection of victims, their rights and holding perpetrators accountable. As part of events to commemorate July 30, IDLO convened a webinar “COVID-19 and Trafficking in Persons: The Role of First Responders”. The webinar brought together regional actors to deliberate on critical aspects of Trafficking in Persons in the region. IDLO will continue to shade the spotlight on issues of human trafficking in Liberia in close collaboration with the Government of Liberia.
We can all be first responders by keeping our eyes open to different manifestations of trafficking in persons.
To report a suspected case of Trafficking in Persons please call this hotline 2883!