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Liberia launches its situational analysis report on human trafficking

Monrovia Liberia, 1 March, 2010 – The Government of Liberia on Thursday launched the report on A Situational Analysis of Human Trafficking, especially Women and Children in Liberia

The ceremony, officiated by Labour Minister Councillor  Tiawan S.Gongloe, was attended by senior government officials, national and international partners.

The report asserts that human trafficking is prevalent in Liberia and provides valuable information on the scope and nature of trafficking in persons  in Liberia.

Although emphasis was hitherto placed on the trafficking of children, the report suggests that both adults and children are trafficked internally and trans-nationally.

This is done for different purposes including labour exploitation, organ removal and the trafficking of drugs.

It notes that "officials do not have the skills to differentiate between trafficking, kidnappings and smuggling practices, especially in source or destination sites where an ‘intention to exploit’ is unknown."

"Here in Liberia, when we speak of human rights, it is always about adults and not children," says Minister Gongloe.

"This report is indeed a useful tool for the government and people of Liberia. We would like to thank all of our partners especially UNICEF for its contribution in ensuring that this document is today finalized."

The  report is based on a review of existing literature, a rights-based policy-analysis, and qualitative field work with respondents from: Montserrado, Grand Cape Mount, Lofa, Bong, Nimba, Grand Gedeh, Maryland, Grand Bassa and Margibi.

Interviews and focus group discussions were also conducted with key informants from the government, UN, NGOs, civil society actors, caregivers, parents and children.

"On behalf of all children in Liberia, I would like to call on the respective ministries and other institutions to facilitate the development of a comprehensive national anti-human trafficking strategy and plan of action based on the findings of this study," says Ms. Isabel Crowley, UNICEF Liberia Resident Representative. 

"I call on the Government to demonstrate its commitment to combat human trafficking through a rights-based approach by ratifying all relevant international and regional instruments and to fully enforce the implementation of all international instruments that it has signed and ratified."

There have been some successes in the implementation of the National Plan on trafficking, largely due to positive collaboration with the United Nations, non-governmental organisations and community-based actors both internally and across borders.

However, these efforts have been delayed or thwarted by contextual realities, logistical difficulties, the absence of skilled manpower, funding and material shortages as well as ‘compromises’ at the level of the judiciary and in the community.

These factors have hindered attempts to identify, intercept, arrest and prosecute perpetrators.

For more information, please contact:
Adolphus Scott, UNICEF Liberia, Tel: +231 6 282 074; email: adscott@unicef.otg




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