LIBERIA: Pres. Sirleaf Abhors Human Trafficking

President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has declared zero tolerance for human trafficking and trafficking in persons in Liberia.

The Liberia leader made the statement at the launch of a five-year National Action Plan against human trafficking in Liberia, held at the Monrovia City Hall on Tuesday.

President Sirleaf said the Government declared a collective effort against this menace that has plagued the Liberian society for a very long time, through a national action plan that was endorsed by the Cabinet on October 13, 2013.

The Liberian leader said the Government of Liberia has also organized numerous programs such as the formation of a national taskforce aimed at fighting this crime; something she noted demonstrates her government’s intolerance of human trafficking.

According to the Liberia News Agency, President Sirleaf said the launch of the five-year national plan to fight human trafficking further makes Liberia a better place to live, where the rights of defenseless people are always guaranteed and protected.

She said clear manifestations of the Government’s fight against this heinous crime can be traced to the indictment of three expatriates, who are currently awaiting trial as well as the case of a Moroccan and a Tunisian who were unanimously found guilty on December 31, 2013 of the crime of child trafficking.

The President said her government will remain robust in the fight against human trafficking, in order to tell the world and would-be perpetrators of its seriousness in fighting this crime.

President Sirleaf further disclosed that the Liberian Government had earlier acceded to the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and its protocols, to prevent, suppress and punish perpetrators of trafficking in persons, especially women and children.

The launch of a five-year national plan against human trafficking began in 2005, when the Transitional Legislative Assembly of the National Transitional Government passed an Act that banned and criminalized all forms of human trafficking in Liberia.

The Act was further enhanced in April 2013, when the Government amended the penal law regarding the extortion, environmental crime, trafficking of persons and illicit migrants smuggling, a criminal offence.

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