Over US$50,000 Allotted To Repatriate Liberian Females From Oman

The Minister of Labor Minister, Cllr. Charles H. Gibson, as Chairman of the National Anti-Human Trafficking Taskforce of Liberia, has announced that the Government of Liberia through the Ministry of Finance has allocated an initial amount of US$50,000.00 for the repatriation of Liberian females from Oman having been allegedly abused and molested by their employers.

Minister Gibson said that the government has put in place mechanism to ensure that movement of females to Oman is restricted as a means of ensuring that the current situation of Liberian women in that country does not reoccur.

Cllr. Gibson said human trafficking have become an alarming situation in the region for which it need an exclusive investigative unit in the LNP to expedite cases to be taken to court.

He said people who are trafficked are usually from other countries and the longer they stay in transit, the more they become reluctant and not available for trail.

Therefore, the Taskforce and partners have decided to create a special unit at the police headquarters, which he described as a major breakthrough in ensuring that cases are expeditiously investigated and taken to court.

“This unit has linkages with all police and immigration offices in the 15 counties of Liberia. It started work two months ago and through their work, the LNP was able to rescue two Liberian females from the Ivory Coast and they are also investigating the situation from Oman. They are also working with lawyers of the Taskforce to ensure that when cases go to court, there is evidence of proof to show convictions.”  

He used the occasion to thank the Inspector-General of the Liberia National Police, the Ministry of Justice, the United States Embassy near Monrovia and partners for their contribution, but noted that the setting up of the unit is an initiative exclusive of the Government of Liberia with no donor money. He added that the GOL is putting a lot of money to ensure that the fight against human trafficking is successful.

For his part, Police Inspector General Col. Patrick Sudue said that the issue of human trafficking is a grave concern to not only the government of Liberia, but to all Liberians.

He said that the LNP is doing everything possible to ensure that Liberia will not be used as a transit point for human trafficking and that the practice will not also be allowed in any part of Liberia.

The LNP boss said that his men will ensure that the issue about the women and girls who were trafficked to Oman will be handled both diplomatically and internally, noting that the LNP will continue to ensure that Liberians out there that need help from the government will be provided the necessary assistance.

He assured Liberians and foreign partners of the LNP readiness in the fight against human trafficking Liberia.

In a brief remark, the Deputy Chief of Mission at the United States Embassy in Monrovia, Mr. Joel Maybury said it is important to note the efforts of the government of Liberia in the fight against human trafficking.

He said, “While it is true that we are talking about perpetrators, which is also important, but let us not forget about the victim center approach. So it is not about rushing to go and interview victim as journalists, investigators and diplomats. We have to remember that they are the ones who are traumatized, as they are the ones who have faced something unimaginable and they are the ones who have gone through something, which they should not have experienced.”  

The ceremony was graced by officials from the United States Embassy near Monrovia headed by Mr. Joel Maybury, Deputy Chief of Mission, Ministries of Justice, Gender and Labor, LNP and other members of the National Anti-Human Trafficking Taskforce of Liberia.

Meanwhile, Labor Minister Gibson, as Chairman of the National Anti-Human Trafficking Taskforce of Liberia, at the head of a Government of Liberia delegation is in Freetown, Sierra Leone to hold discussion with authorities of that country on issues relating to the fight against human trafficking in the region.

Other members of the delegation include Mr. Adolphus G. Satiah, Director of the Human Trafficking Secretariat at the Ministry of Labor, Inspector Joseph Washington, Commander of the TIP Unit of the LNP and Josephus Flumo, Special Assistant to the Minister of Labor.  

Minister Gibson and delegation are expected to meet with the Minister of Labor of Sierra Leone as well as authorities responsible for the fight against human trafficking in that country.

According to a dispatch from Freetown, discussions between the Labor Minister of Liberia and his counterparts will center around the possibility of holding a Mano River Union (MRU) submit on human trafficking in the region.

Human Trafficking has become an alarming situation in the MRU sub-region and other parts West Africa.

Recently, several Sierra Leonean and Guinean nationals were rescued by the National Anti-Human Trafficking Taskforce of Liberia after they were said to have been trafficked to Liberia by a criminal enterprise QNet and are now being held at the safe-home of the taskforce.

They were trafficked to Liberia with the promise of traveling to Europe and Asia by their traffickers many of whom are Sierra Leoneans and other West Africans.

They told investigators that they paid their traffickers/QNetUS$1,800 -2,000, as fees to travel to Europe and Asia.

There are several ongoing human trafficking cases being held in various courts across the country involving citizens of the MRU member states.

It is also reported that Liberians are being trafficked to Sierra Leone and other MRU countries in similar manner and forms.

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