The Ministry of Labour through the National Anti-Human Trafficking Taskforce has established a modern ”Safe-Home” for victims and witnesses of human trafficking and child labour as part of the fight against trafficking in persons and child labour in Liberia.
Making the disclosure at the regular monthly meeting of the National Anti-Human Trafficking Taskforce held at the Ministry of Labour, the Chairman of the Taskforce, Labour Minister, Cllr. Charles H. Gibson said that for the first time in the taskforce has established a modern self-home for victims of Trafficking In Persons (TIP) and child labour.
“In our last meeting we listed several programs to roll out as a means of accelerating the fight against trafficking in person and child labour. We have been able to accomplish most of them and as you can see from the agenda items, we have for the first time established modern safe-home; I want to say ultra-modern safe –home. Is a place that even if an official of the American Government child is form in need of assistance and we take that child there, he/she will feel like home, because we made it very modern” Cllr. Gibson told members of the taskforce and partners.
Minister Gibson said the Ministry of Labour working with the Ministry of Justice are committed to ensuring that cases of trafficking and child labour are fast-track at various courts across the country.
He informed the members and partners in the fight against trafficking and child labour that he deployed Labour Commissioners assigned in the fifteen counties and they did a complete docket review of what is obtaining in the counties as it relates to trafficking and child labour. “Interestingly, we discovered that we have two cases in Grand Cape Mount County; we also discovered that there had been a lot of child labour cases and they have been handle at police stations and not going to court because child labour issues usually involved families.
Speaking of the challenges in the fight against trafficking and child labour, the Chairman of the Taskforce maintained “We have problem hosting TIP victims and witnesses for a very long time, most times they are from other counties and countries and they want to return home, so the sooner we can conclude those cases, the better for us. The Judge of the Criminal Court “A” has assured us that once we are ready to prosecute he will bring TIP cases on the top of the docket.”
Meanwhile, the National Human Trafficking Taskforce has concluded a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with five local NGOs to conduct education and awareness raising activities on human trafficking and child labour issues in five counties in Liberia, namely: Bong, Nimba, Grand Cape Mount, Lofa and Montserrado Counties.
The five local NOGs are partnering with the National Human Trafficking Taskforce of Liberia.
The National Anti-Human Trafficking Taskforce was constituted on October 27, 2006, following an enactment into law by the National Transitional Legislative Assembly on June 14, 2005, banning human trafficking in all its forms across Liberia.
It structure is comprised of the following line ministries and agencies of government:
Ministry of Labour, Chairman, Ministry of Justice, Co-chair while the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Internal Affairs, Health, Gender, Children, Social Protection, Liberia National Police (LNP) and Liberia Immigration Service (LIS) are members.