Labour Minister Wants Additional Safe Homes For Victims a And Witnesses of Human Trafficking…As IOM Chief of Mission Pays Him Courtesy Call

PRESS RELEASE

Labour Minister Cllr. Charles H. Gibson has stressed the need for the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the National Anti-Human Trafficking Taskforce of Liberia to collaborate in the setting up of additional Safe-homes for victims and witnesses of trafficking and illegal migration.

Minister Gibson who is also the Chairman of the Anti-Human Trafficking Taskforce of Liberia said that the Taskforce is challenged with the issue of human trafficking, illegal migration and the repatriation of victims of these crimes noting that most time, victims are brought from other countries and as such, before repatriation, their security and where-being are paramount to the taskforce.

He said that in order to curtail the crime of human trafficking, prosecution of perpetrators must be successfully carry out and in order to achieve that, there should be safe-homes set up for victims as many of them are foreigners in distressed.

“Human trafficking brings foreigners in your country through deception and misrepresentation. They are made vulnerable as such, they need help and security. That’s one way we can partner. Because we need your help in this area to secure a place for victims of human trafficking until they can be repatriated to their country” Minister Gibson added.

Minister Gibson was speaking on Tuesday, November 9, 2021 when the Chief of Mission of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) for Guinea and Liberia, Madam Ana Fonseca paid a courtesy call on him at his Labour Ministry office in Monrovia.The Liberian Labour Minister and Chairman of the Anti-Human Trafficking Taskforce informed the IOM Chief of Mission that on many occasion, Labour Inspectors have identified several foreigners working with major concessions and other sectors without any documentation. “Is like cartel. The big boys know what they are here for; the small boys can be abandoned at any time and when they are abandoned they become public responsibility” he added.

Cllr. Gibson maintained that the entry and exit of people into the Country without proper documentation constitute illegal migration. He said that there is a need for IOM and the Anti-Human Trafficking Taskforce of Liberia to partner in curtailing the issue of illegal migration.

“I agreed with you when you said that migration is not a bad thing. Migration brings about development. Considering the amount of money being send back by people who migrated to other parts of the world legally and are settle there. Millions of dollars wouldn’t have been coming to maintain lives and properties if they have not migrated to other countries” Chairman Gibson noted.

Minister Gibson is further encouraging a collaboration between the IOM and his Ministry for the development of a database through which companies requesting for work permit for non-Liberians to occupy vacancies can be flagged through said database as a means of allowing qualified Liberians in other parts of the world opportunity to apply for those jobs.

He said that doing so, Liberians will be giving first preference for job vacancies in the country.

For her part, the IOM Chief of Mission, Madam Ana Fonseca pledged her institution commitment to supporting the Taskforce and the Ministry of Labour in the areas of migration, mobility and trafficking of people as well as everything that comes with them.

She said migration brings a lot of vulnerability and associated risk noting that migrating route and way people are moving with no safe guard in terms of their identity, documentations and legal ways of moving. However, she said that migration as we all know just does not only bring vulnerability and risk, it also brings development and other good things as well.

Madam Fanseca used the occasion to thank the Government of Liberia through the Ministry of Labour for the level of sensitization and community awareness which is helping to prevent Liberians, particularly the youth from moving in just any risky way.

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