The national taskforce of the Liberian Government against human trafficking has arrested three men in connection with alleged trafficking of children. The taskforce comprises the Ministries of Labour, Gender, Women and Children Affairs, Justice, Bureau of Immigration and Naturalization and the Liberia National Police.
Speaking to the NewDawn via mobile over the weekend, the Commissioner of the BIN, Col. Lemuel Reeves said the children were reportedly in traffic to Guinea when the taskforce got a tip-off and the children
He said the children have been turned over to the Women and Children Protection Division of the Liberia National Police pending thorough investigation. When the Deputy Attorney General was asked about the names of the alleged perpetrators, he declined to name them on grounds that the police were now in charge of ongoing investigation.
When the spokesman of the police, Sam Collins, was contacted immediately both his personal and official cell phones rang endlessly. The Minister of Labor, Attorney Neto Zarazar Lighe, when contacted, also declined to comment on grounds that his ministry was not in the know of a written report, but confirmed the information.
Last year, the United States Government, through the Department of State, said Liberia remained a major source and destination for the trafficking of men, women and children subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking.
The U.S. assertions were contained in the 2015 edition of the annual Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report, which places Liberia in the Tier 2 Category, just above the dangerous watch list. The Department of State report, which rates 188 countries on their efforts to stamp out trafficking in persons, places each country onto one of three tiers based on the extent of their governments’ efforts to comply with the “minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking” found in Section 108 of the TVPA”.
According to the State Department, penalties for countries demoted to Tier 3 are at the discretion of the U.S. President, but could include restrictions on non-humanitarian assistance and funding, which means Liberia which remains in Tier Two for the Second year running, could risk funding cuts if it does not improve in the coming year.
By E. J. Nathaniel Daygbor-Edited by George Barpeen