Training for National Trafficking in Persons Focal Points opens in Monrovia.

Dr. Agatha Kolawole

Deputy Labour Minister for Planning, Atty. Phil T. Dixon says the International Labour Organization (ILO), the International Organization for Migration (IOM), ECOWAS and other international partners have shown great interest in supporting Liberia’s engagement in the fight against Trafficking In-Persons in Liberia.

He said that in the last few months, many requests send to these international organizations have received a greater level of support. The Deputy Labour Minister noted that this level support is a vote confident in the effort that the current administration at the Ministry of Labour is giving to the issues of human trafficking and child labour. He informed participants that the National Focal Point representative and other law enforcement agencies have been invited for a regional training in Lome sponsored by ILO and the ECOWAS Commission under the Support to Free Movement and Migration in West Africa Project.

He said that because of the importance the Government of Liberia attaches to the fight against trafficking in persons, the TIP Taskforce regular meeting is now pushed to the level that a number of Cabinet Ministers are attending.

Partial of view of participants

He assured the participants that Liberia is prepared to take steps towards improving its status in the fight against TIP, child labour and other ills in society and is optimistic of the success of this training as the trainers possess high level capacity.

Atty. Dixon made these assertions on Monday, November 5, 2018 at the opening of a four-day Step Down Training for National Trafficking in Persons Focal Points (NFPs) at the Boulevard Palace, Monrovia.

The objectives of the training are: Enhance participants’ understanding of the current trends in the areas of Trafficking in persons (TIP), Forced Labor, Child Labor and labour Migration; Share best practices in the elimination of Trafficking in persons (TIP), Forced Labour, and Child Labour; and Sensitize participants on Alliance 8.7. and discuss on how to establish/ strengthen its coordination.

Speaking onbehalf of the ILO Country Director, Mr. Dennis Zulu, National Prgramme Officer, ILO/FMM West Africa Project, Dr. Agatha Kolawole said that Liberia is among four countries in West Africa that were selected to benefit from this Step Down Training of TIP National Focal points.

She said that Liberia was selected because of the request sent to the ILO and also that the country has earlier submitted a need for training the Demand Driven Fund of the FMM project. She noted that this training is basically aimed at building the capacity of NFPs in the five thematic areas and also to strengthen coordination in the combat of TIP, Child labour and Forced labour at the national level. She noted that these are major gaps in most ECOWAS Countries and stressed the need for more coordination in order to achieve these objectives.

She named the five (5) thematic modules (Understanding the issues, Preventing Trafficking and Exploitation, Protecting People at Risk, Protecting People in the Workplace and Matters of Process).

She told participants that a blended training programme was developed by the Project in partnership with the ITC-ILO to enhance NFPs ability to deliver national level trainings targeting multiple stakeholders in the ECOWAS region. The blended training consists of an online course and a face to face workshop.

Dr. Kolawole said that the blended training programme was developed to enhance NFPs ability to deliver national level trainings targeting multiple stakeholders in the ECOWAS region. The blended training consists of an online course and a face to face workshop.

The trained NFPs were expected to step down the training to their counterparts at the National level

The workshop will also sensitize stakeholders on achieving SDG 8.7 relating to Force Labour, child labour and trafficking. SDG 8.7 seeks to “Take immediate and effective measures to eradicate forced labour, end modern slavery and human trafficking and secure the prohibition and elimination of the worst forms of child labour, including recruitment and use of child soldiers, and by 2025 end child labour in all its worst forms” and create a safe and healthy workplace for the next generation (s).  In view of this, the workshop will sensitize participants on their role in achieving target 8.7 through Alliance 8.7.  This is in a bid to promote a more coordinated and pro-active interventions to accelerate the elimination of TIP, child labour and Force labour at the country level. The workshop will provide a forum to discuss operationalization of Alliance 8.7 at the country level and to provide concrete recommendations on the way forward.

On his part, the Director of the Anti-Human Trafficking Taskforce at the Ministry of Labour, Mr. Adolphus Satiah, said that the Step Down is a follow-up face to face and online training held in 2016 in Cotonu, Benin and participants were advised to carryout similar training for their counterparts at a national and local levels. He said that due to the budgetary constraint the secretariat was unable to conduct the training up to this point. He however noted that due to discussion held with the ILO Abuja office, the training is finally here and called on participants to make full use of this advantage.

The training is being attended by members of the Anti-Human Trafficking Taskforce, law enforcement officers, civil society organizations and other partners in the fight against human trafficking, child labour and forced labour in Liberia.

The workshop is implemented by the ILO and sponsored by the European Union in collaboration with ECOWAS within the framework of the Support to Free Movement of Persons and Migration in West Africa Project.

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