U.S. Rewards Liberia’s “Steadfast Willingness to Tackle Human Trafficking”

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According to the U.S. Embassy Monrovia, the Government of Liberia has increased investigations, identification of victims, and provided budgetary support to anti-trafficking efforts. (Photo: IDLO)

Elevates country to to Tier 2 Watch List

The U.S. Embassy near Monrovia has released its 2020 Trafficking in Persons Country Report for Liberia and announced that it (Liberia) has been elevated to Tier 2 after three years on Tier 2 Watch List.

Tier 2 as set by the U.S. State Department represents countries whose governments do not fully comply with the Trafficking Victims Protection Act’s minimum standards but are making significant efforts to bring themselves into compliance with those standards.

Liberia being on Tier 2 watch list for three years means that the government could not fully comply with the TVPA’s minimum standards, but was making significant efforts to bring itself into compliance with the standards.

With this progress, the U.S. Embassy said it is “Pleased to release the 2020 Trafficking in Persons Report for Liberia and to announce that the Government of Liberia has demonstrated sufficient progress to be elevated to Tier 2 after three years of Tier 2 Watch list, as determined by the U.S. State Department’s Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons.”  According to the U.S. Embassy, this outcome reflects the dedicated efforts of the Government of Liberia to fight human trafficking, as well as the achievements possible through U.S.-Liberia partnership.

In testimonial praise, the U.S. Embassy noted that over the past two years, the government has shown a steadfast willingness to tackle the problem of human trafficking, especially domestic forced labor of children by “Reinvigorating” the Trafficking in Persons Task Force led by the Ministry of Labor.

It added that the government has increased investigations, identification of victims, and provided budgetary support to anti-trafficking efforts.  “These successes required the sustained cooperation of investigators, prosecutors, law enforcement officers and trainers, and Labor officials, and show that even under difficult circumstances when resources appear scarce, the public sector and civil society can work together to protect citizens and promote accountability,” the Embassy’s release notes.

The Embassy went further to acknowledge that, “The Embassy would like to congratulate the Ministry of Labor for coordinating the efforts of the Trafficking in Persons Task Force, while also offering special recognition to the sustained efforts of partners in the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission, the Liberia Immigration Service, the Liberia National Police, the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection, the Liberia Drug Enforcement Agency, the Ministry of Justice, and the LNP Transnational Crimes Unit.”

The Embassy also acknowledged civil society organizations for their active involvement in reporting potential trafficking cases and coordinating services for potential victims, especially the Community Watch Forum, Defence for Children International, Orphan Relief and Rescue; THINK Liberia, World Hope International, and YWCA Liberia.

It can be recalled that in 2019 U.S. Ambassador-at-Large to Monitor and Combat Trafficking-in-Persons, John Cotton Richmond, visited Liberia and met with President George Weah along with key members of his cabinet, who pledged support for increased efforts against human trafficking.

“The support has encouraged police, immigration, and border officials to investigate possible crimes, social workers to place child victims in shelters, and prosecutors to take up cases,” the Embassy’s release said, adding, “These are important steps, and the Embassy looks forward to working alongside the member agencies of the Trafficking-in-Persons Task Force as they continue to improve their ability to combat human trafficking and child labor.”

At the point of Tier 2, Liberia has the opportunity to work hard to ascend to Tier 1 that is the category of countries whose governments are fully in compliance with the TVPA, or by complacency and relaxation in taking concrete actions slip down to Tier 2 Watch List and subsequently to Tier 3 category that has countries whose governments do not fully comply with the minimum standards and are not making significant efforts to do so.

5 COMMENTS

    • Not so fast, Karjah. If you knew about the genesis of this trafficking award, you will find that it just did not dropped from the lap of the US State Department and its Embassy near Monrovia. So here are severals headlines from Frontpageafrica: November 14, 2019: Labor Minister Outlines Liberia’s To-Do List To Pass US Next Human Trafficking Report.

      US Government Hints At Consequences If Liberia Fails To Improve On Trafficking In Person Index Report. June 24, 2019

      Liberia Not Fully Meeting Minimum Standards On Stopping Human Trafficking , State Department , Washinton DC
      Frontpageafrica, June 24, 2019

      One may have their own opinion of the source quoted here . But it does not take away from the fact that the regime of George was not threatened by the US financial baseball bat. If the regime did not do enough on its Human Trafficking Index Report .
      Yes, to the regime’s credit it very well considered that all the discussions between the United States Embassy and the regime took place in one year time, this June 27, 2020. One should not concerned himself with if this was bad news the post section would be filled with criticism. But should concerned himself about what it actually means to stop human trafficking at domestic level ? Domestic trafficking mostly involved children from other parts of the country and brought into the slums cities of Monrovia as bread winners, instead of being put in school. If the regime is handling that sector, perhaps, according to the report that is excellent. And there are other parts of domestic trafficking in that country. If the regime is going after them also, that is excellent, to the credit of the regime.
      This not about playing politics, that if it was bad news there would had been blah blah blah blah. The regime was threatened by one of its strongest International Aid Partners to improve its Human Trafficking Index Report. Or there will be consequences. But one thing though, as Liberians, we should all be happy that one child being brought from the country side is saved from burning hot water for domestic related incidents. That one child brought from interior has been saved from hands being put in hot oil . And domestic sex trafficking related incidents . We should all be happy that someone was able and willing to see what was going and help the regime to put an end to those awful terrible behaviors. We all should be happy that lives are not being destroyed forever .

    • Karjah, you are absolutely correct and to the point on this. Once it’s a good news, you will hear nothing but when it’s negative the comments are a million plus.

      • Good news that the regime had to be pushed ? Good news that the regime had to be pushed on the MCC agreements to receive two hundred and fifty million dollars ? Good news that the regime could not handled its own food distribution and had to outsource it for 9 million US dollars because there are no administrators with technical administrative skills, like the one appointed as Chairman , Professor Wilson Tarpeh. Good news that the US government and its Embassy near Monrovia had to threaten the regime during this peace time to put a check on its domestic slavery ? Is this regime actually blind to these situations without someone wondering about who is in charged ? Get the Hell out of here about Good News when someone has to be pushed to do what is good for children in the country. Look at the posted picture of a child hiding her face in embarrassment to tell her story in her own words. Good news that the regime was pushed , now there should be a parade on Broad Street. Look at that picture again , and let it tell you the real unspoken stories out there about the Hell children are going through in a morally bankrupt society and country. As children, they did not asked for the kind of provoking treatments that they are receiving at the hands of being neglected by society. So what else should the regime be pushed to do in order for it to be considered GOOD NEWS ? A nation lost in hopelessness if it has to be pushed to do for its future generations.

  1. Mr. James Davis! These folks will never understand your point neither understands the magnitude of this plight in Liberia because, they see progress to the situation since Liberians did not comment over this so called “elevation”. How can someone ever deem this as promotion? From observing me as a 3rd grade student and promoting me to the 3rd grade? Is this what considered as elevation or just sugar coating the situation? The very U. S embassy has dirt on their hands considering the situation invloving one individual, trafficking away over 800 children from Liberia, all in the name of adaptation. They have been part of the problem giving the role the embassy played, to the visa process for these kids. The question is, why is our government still has not prosecuted those involved in the trafficking of these 800 children from Liberia to the U.S? Or why is this case being dragged in court that’s not just going anywhere?

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