US Blames Lawmakers for Backwardness in Fighting Human Trafficking

US Ambassador Michael McCarthy

US Ambassador accredited to Liberia, Michael McCarthy has expressed an observation that the National Legislature should take the balme for the country's failure in the fight against human trafficking because they deliberately refused to amend the 2005 Act.

Ambassador Michael McCarthy recollected that years back his government submitted a report to the Liberian lawmakers requesting that there was a need to make specific amendment to the 2005 law, but they have chosen not to act on it.

McCarthy said because of the lawmakers’ failure, Liberia as a country stands to lose an incredible amount of money from the United States Government.

The US Envoy made the disclosure on Monday, August 2, when he led a high power delegation to the Supreme Court of Liberia to officially make a presentation on Trafficking-in- Person Bench Books to the Judiciary Branch of the Government.

According to Ambassador McCarthy, the human trafficking books are intended to be used as a knowledge tool to enhance effective adjudication of trafficking in person cases by Liberian judges.

At the presentation ceremony, Ambassador McCarthy said his government is disappointed with the lack of action on the part of the Liberian lawmakers.

McCarthy said, with the presentation, he hopes the lawmakers will understand that their message has been received that trafficking in-person is not important to the people of Liberia. 

McCarthy maintained that for many years the US government has highlighted the importance of the amendment of the 2005 law, but to no avail.

“The suggested changes are relatively stated in the report. I hope the Legislature understands that their inaction sent a bad message that trafficking in person is of no importance to them” Ambassador McCarthy told the justices of the Supreme Court that include Chief Justice Francis Korkpor.

In response, Chief Justice Francis S. Korkpor first lauded the American government for the splendid work on human trafficking in Liberia.

Chief Justice Korkpor said the issue of human trafficking is a menace in the Liberian society. He said human trafficking involves the most vulnerable group in the society.

Korkpor said the United States department report shows that a large number of people from the rural part are trafficked to the urban areas and once they are in the urban settlement, there is no control as they can be trafficked in neighboring countries and other parts of the world. 

According to him, the issue of trafficking in person is relatively new to Liberia in terms of dealing with the crime and the law applicable to it.