The Government of Liberia through the National Anit-Human Trafficking Force has launched its second Five Years National Action Plan and the National Referral Mechanism plan to combat Trafficking In-Persons (TIP) in Liberia.
The Plan is a strategy put in place to guide national endeavor against Trafficking In-Persons (TIP), and it is in direct response to the local, regional and international demand for such a broad program strategy as a major requirement.
It is part of a series of inter-related prior and ongoing actions by the government of Liberia in response to the threats and challenges engendered by this serious transnational crime which uses Liberia as both a transit and destination points.
The official Launching program which took place on Friday, October 25, 2019 at Ministry of Labour in Monrovia was graced by members of the National Human Trafficking Taskforce, local and international partners including the Embassy of the United States, International Development Law Organization (IDLO), amongst others.
Launching the plan on behalf of the Government of Liberia, the Chairman of the National Anti-Human Trafficking Taskforce, Hon. Chief Moses Y. Kollie reaffirmed the Government of Liberia‘s zero tolerance stances in the fight against all forms of human trafficking in Liberia.
The Taskforce Chairman who is also the Minister of Labour used the occasion to thank the President of the Republic of Liberia H. E. Dr. George Mannah Weah for endorsing the National Action Plan on Trafficking In Persons (TIP) and the National Referral Mechanism document which runs from July 2019-June 2024.
He maintained that the urgency attached to signing of the document by the President shows his Government commitment to the Act created banning trafficking of human beings in the country.
The Minister of Labour Hon. Chief Y. Kollie said that to further enhance its commitment to the successful implementation of the document, the Government of Liberia has allotted funding from the 2019/2020 National Budget to support the fight against Trafficking In Persons in Liberia.
He reminded partners that this Plan can only be realized when all of the stakeholders including the Liberia Immigration Service (LIS), the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection, the Liberia National Police, the Ministry of Justice, the Civil Societies Groups as well as the International Partners are willing and prepared to coordinate and collaborate in sharing information on trafficking activities in the county.
Minister Kollie noted that the first National Action Plan of Liberia was consistent with the Act to Ban Trafficking In-Persons of 2005 and its amendment of 2013. It gives consideration to four key thematic areas namely: prevention, protection, prosecution and partnership. It also provides expression of a national strategy to back its commitment to defeat trafficking.
“At the recent dialogue held with the United States Department of State in Washington, there were some key issues raised by the State Department on trafficking in-persons in Liberia including improving on prosecution, protection and capacity building, but as a government that is part of the global village, we assured the Department of State of the preparedness of the Weah’s led Government to upholding the fight against human trafficking and improving on our performance from tier 3 to tier 2 before March 31, 2020. Tier 3 countries are countries whose governments do not fully meet the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA’s) minimum standards and are not making significant efforts to do so” the head of the National Anti-Human Trafficking of Liberia added.
“Let me use this opportunity to thank our International Partners for their many assistance to the Government of Liberia in this fight, especially the International Development Law Organization (IDLO), for all of their supports including the printing of the Second National Action Plan NAP), on Trafficking In-Persons (TIP) and the National Referral Mechanism”.
For her part, the Country Manager of the International Development Law Organization (IDLO), Madam Teresa Mugadza described the development of the document as a positive step in the right direction, because it speaks to the commitment of the Government of Liberia to the fight against trafficking in the country.
She said as a partner to the government in this fight, they will prioritize the urgencies of the government in combating trafficking in all its forms.
She said IDLO remains committed to maintaining the partnership between the Ministry of Labour, in terms of supporting the Trafficking In-Persons (TIP), Secretarial and other government functionaries that are involved with fighting trafficking In Persons in the country.