Liberian Lawmakers Demand Gov’t To Release Report On Girls ‘Trafficked’ to Lebanon

Several members of the House of Representatives are demanding the Government of Liberia (GoL) to speedily investigate the incident of the over 50 Liberian girls that were allegedly trafficked to Lebanon by unknown persons.

The girls were allegedly trafficked to Lebanon and forced into activities against their will.

On Thursday, March 19, 2015, 10 of the girls were brought back into the country by authorities of the Liberian government.

Labor Minister Neto Leigh declined to state the actual location of the girls, but stated that they (girls) are being kept in a "safe home."

He said the girls are being given psycho-socio counseling, medical treatment and fed three times daily to keep them healthy; although few of them might be in poor health.

Minister Leigh explained that the ten girls were brought home after the special task force on trafficking, which he serves as chairman, visited Lebanon and met with Lebanese government officials before their released.

He noted that government has decided to keep the location of the 'safe house' secret (not for any peculiar reason) but to get testimonies from the girls in preparation for prosecution against individuals allegedly linked to human trafficking.

But speaking recently during regular session in the Chambers of the House of Representatives, Maryland County Pleebo-Sodoken District # 2 Representative, Dr. Bhofal Chambers, stated that circumstances surrounding the well about of the girls should be made known to the public.

He said government should not try to make "adjustments" before bringing the girls to the public.

He noted that citizens would continue to speculate if the girls are being kept in secret for a prolonged period of time.

"I believe that it is now time that government acts with swiftness in making sure that our girls allegedly trafficked to Lebanon are brought back. I believe that the people of Liberia deserve some kind of feedback as to their concerns. It would be good for us to know the level of consciousness of our young people who were allegedly trafficked out of Liberia," the Congress for Democratic Change (CDC) lawmaker stated.

Also speaking, Montserrado County District # 6 Representative, Edwin Melvin Snowe, asserted that the alleged trafficking of the girls out of Liberia remains a concern not only to lawmakers, but other well-meaning Liberians.

He said it was now time that the Legislature becomes more proactive to meet with authorities involved in investigating the matter, to provide a comprehensive report based on findings.

For his part, Montserrado County District # 7 Representative, Solomon Claudius George, observed that the trafficking of young Liberians especially females to other countries, remains an age old problem in Liberia.

According to him, the latest scenario needs to be investigated to help identify what he called "bottle necks."

"Some of these girls, their parents are involved; they take their children and turn them over to foreign nationals under the pretext of going to work. But when they get there, other things start to happen. And so we need to be very serious about this," he amongst other things noted.

By Obediah Johnson/Heritage Newspaper

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