National Anti- Human Trafficking Taskforce Holds Symposium
The National Anti- Human Trafficking Taskforce on Trafficking recently convened a one-day symposium aimed at strengthening prosecution of perpetrators of human trafficking.
Under the leadership of the Minister of Labor, Cllr. Charles Gibson, the Taskforce on Trafficking, the symposium conducted a comprehensive review of all human trafficking cases . The evaluation encompassed past cases, ongoing investigations, and those currently before the courts, examining both police case files and active legal proceedings.
The central focus of the discussion involved deliberations on the implementation of the 20-year minimum sentence for perpetrators of human trafficking. This significant measure, endorsed and signed by regional countries in Sierra Leone in 2022, aims to fortify the collective efforts against this heinous crime.
Labour Minister Cllr. Charles H. Gibson, the presiding and Chairman of the Joint Taskforce on Trafficking In Person, took the opportunity to shed light on the financial challenges hindering their mission. He revealed that despite a substantial budgetary allocation of funds over the last two years by government to combat human trafficking and strengthening victims, the Taskforce has not received any financial support in 2023
Expressing concern about the implications of this financial shortfall, Minister Gibson emphasized the critical need for immediate support to sustain the fight against human trafficking. He urged stakeholders, both national and international, to rally together and address this pressing issue that jeopardizes the progress achieved in previous years.
In a related development, the police disclosed during the meeting that there are currently three human trafficking cases pending on the docket. These cases are anticipated to undergo trial in the upcoming court term scheduled to commence in February 2024.
As the Joint Taskforce on Trafficking In Person navigates the complexities of addressing human trafficking, it calls for a united front in securing the necessary resources to uphold justice and protect vulnerable individuals from the scourge of trafficking.