LIBERIA: Gender Ministry Welcomes US Government Trafficking Report
The Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection has welcomed the United States government 2022 Trafficking In Persons Report on Liberia.
Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report is the U.S. Government’s principal diplomatic tool to engage foreign governments on human trafficking. It is also the world’s most comprehensive resource of governmental anti-trafficking efforts and reflects the U.S. Government’s commitment to global leadership on this key human rights and law enforcement issue.
As stated by the 2022 TIP report, Liberia did not fully meet the standards for the elimination of trafficking, but is making significant efforts to do so. “The government demonstrated overall increasing efforts compared with the previous reporting period, considering the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on its anti-trafficking capacity; therefore Liberia was upgraded to Tier 2”. The report noted.
According to the report, the Liberian government made frantic efforts which include: passing and enacting a new trafficking law with provisions that removed the means element for
child sex trafficking crimes; increasing investigations, prosecutions, and
convictions; and allocating more funding to NGOs to conduct awareness-
raising campaigns. Additionally, the Liberia National Police established a new anti-trafficking unit, and for the first time, the Ministry of Labor hired lawyers dedicated to prosecuting trafficking cases.
TIP 2022 report stated that the government of Liberia assisted in repatriating potential Liberian trafficking victims from Oman.
The report also acknowledged the pivotal role of the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection in providing care inclusive of shelter and psychosocial supports to victims of trafficking and underscored Gender continued collaboration with NGOs through regular meetings of the Child Protection Network.
However, the TIP 2022 report stressed that shelter services for victims remained insufficient, Law enforcement officials continued to lack adequate resources and understanding of trafficking to effectively investigate and prosecute trafficking crimes.
The Ministry views the country’s upgrade to Tier 2 as a positive step in the right direction but calls for increased government budgetary support to entities mandated to fight trafficking. Gender encourages the public to stay watchful of their environment and speedily report to constituted authority any act of trafficking in the community.
Gender, Children and Social Protection Minister Williametta E. Saydee-Tarr expressed that her Ministry will continued to help fight trafficking given the fact that victims of trafficking are predominantly women and girls.