Trafficked Girls’ Location Exposed

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The safety and wellbeing of 14 Liberian girls, who were a few months ago brought back to the country from being trafficked in Lebanon, are in jeopardy and there is an urgent need to provide maximum security for them, Julia Duncan Cassell, Minister of Gender has warned.
The girls were trafficked in Lebanon by a Lebanese national and used as domestic workers and sex slaves.
Minister Cassell indicated that since the girls arrived in Liberia, they have been confined in a secret location in Margibi County, but since their location in an area designated by government is no longer a secret, they are no longer safe.
She fears that people try to tamper with them or their testimonies since they will serve in court as state witnesses during prosecution.
“This place is no longer safe for the 14 of you because it is possible that those we are protecting you from can come here and do anything wrong to you,” Minister Cassell told the young women.
She explained that the essence of taking them outside of Monrovia was to ensure that they were kept in a secret place to serve as state witnesses during the pending trial of the case concerning their ordeal in Lebanon.
“We are keeping you here to protect you from would be perpetrators, who might want to see you and to at the same time provide you with medical care since your ordeal needs special attention,” Minister Cassel told the girls, who nodded in agreement.
She made the disclosure recently when she donated food items and cash to the girls in Kakata, Margibi County.
Minister Cassell informed them that human trafficking is a human rights violation globally.
She promised to continue providing protection for the girls, but called on Justice and Labor ministries to fast track the girls’ case to ensure that they get speedy trial as required by law.
As for the girls, they also want the Ministry of Justice to speed up with the prosecution of their case, but they are not seeking to be relocated.
The girls were taken to Lebanon by, Bachar Lakkis, a Lebanese national, under the pretext of providing better education and jobs for each of them upon their arrival in Lebanon.
However, when they arrived in Beirut, the opposite happened when their travel documents were seized, and they were allegedly hired out as domestic workers and sexually abused.


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