RECENTLY, THE U.S. Department of State released its 2014 Trafficking in Person (TIP) report on Liberia. In its report, the State Department praised Liberia for making substantial progress in combatting human trafficking although it says more work still needs to be done.
THE REPORT DISCLOSED that the Government of Liberia does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking but that it is making significant efforts to do so. It also praised Liberia for an increased number of investigations and prosecutions of alleged trafficking offenses, and convictions of foreign traffickers compared to the previous reporting period.
THE REPORT NOTED that the government has adopted a national action plan to combat human trafficking and has dedicated funds to implement the plan over a five-year period.
IT SAID, HOWEVER, that Liberia remains a source, transit and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking. The report said most trafficked victims originate from and are exploited within the country’s borders, where they are subjected to domestic servitude, forced begging, sex trafficking, or forced labor in street vending, rubber plantations, and alluvial diamond/gold mines.
AMONG OTHER THINGS, the report said that a small number of Liberian men, women, and children are subjected to human trafficking in other West African countries, including Cote d’Ivoire, Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Nigeria.
WE WELCOME THE State Department’s report on Liberia especially on Human Trafficking, a serious crime under the law. We also join the US Statement Department in commending the Liberian Government for its efforts on the fight against human trafficking.
WE CALL ON the government to fully comply with some of the international instruments on human trafficking including the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and investigate information relating to human trafficking within the borders of Liberia.
WE ALSO CALL for vigorous investigation, prosecution, and conviction of government officials complicit in trafficking offenses so as to avoid any form of undermining the fight against human trafficking because in many cases, people in high places are always complicit in these international crimes and undermine government’s effort.
THE FACT THAT Liberia still remains a source, transit and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking as reported by the US State Department must be of serious concern to our government and take the necessary steps in ensuring that these allegations are thoroughly investigated.
WE CONCUR WITH the State Department’s report that more still needs to be done in the fight against human trafficking, that is why we want state authorities to redouble their efforts in every front to ensure that those involved in such heinous crime to be brought to justice and be prosecuted because as the report said not a single person has been convicted by this government on human trafficking. We believe that the prosecution of those involved will serve as deterrent to other would be traffickers.
Again, we welcome the State Department’s report and call on Government to take note of what contained in it and take the necessary measures in curtailing the crime of human trafficking within the territorial limit of our country.