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ECOWAS commits to ending Human Trafficking in the Region

The ECOWAS Commission is committed to ending human trafficking in West Africa. This was made known by H.E. Dr. Omar Alieu Touray, the President of the ECOWAS Commission at the Regional Conference of ECOWAS Member States on Ending Human Trafficking, with the theme: ‘Charting a way forward for deeper cooperation in ECOWAS to end Human Trafficking’, which held from April 25 to 26, 2023, in Freetown Sierra Leone.

The two-day conference organised by the ECOWAS Commission in collaboration with the Government of the Republic of Sierra Leone, with the support of the African Programming and Research Initiative to End Slavery (APRIES) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) was aimed at  sharing lessons learnt in the implementation of the Member States’ respective Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Action Plans to improve Protection, Prevention, Prosecution, and Partnerships in the fight against TIP and provide a platform for cross learning and agreement on key value-added interventions in enhancing the implementation of the ECOWAS Plan of Action to Combat Trafficking in Persons.

In his remarks at the opening ceremony, H.E. Dr. Omar Alieu Touray, the President of the ECOWAS Commission, highlighted that over the years, the ECOWAS Commission has been implementing policies and plans of action that seek to combat Human Trafficking in all its forms. ECOWAS he said will remain by the side of member states at all costs and in all areas, especial in the areas of security, including human security, democracy and good governance.

While opening the Conference, H.E. Julius Maada Bio, the President of the Republic of Sierra Leone, underscored that his government has undertaken policy and legal reforms to enhance the fight against Human Trafficking.

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“This conference is an opportunity to strengthen regional coordination and cooperation through shared experiences. The roadmap will be a guidepost for the Region, and the jointly agreed upon interventions will reflect and amplify our collective goal to combat Human trafficking” he added.

The Ministers after their closed-door Roundtable Meeting adopted the roadmap for the enhanced Combat of Trafficking in Persons in the ECOWAS Region, which will be incorporated into and implemented as a component of the ECOWAS Plan of Action to Combat Trafficking in

Persons, especially Women and Children. The roadmap will serve to further enhance the effectiveness of measures already outlined in the ECOWAS Plan of Action to Combat Trafficking in Persons.

The ECOWAS Delegation led by the President of the Commission, H.E. Dr. Omar Alieu Touray includes the ECOWAS Commissioner for Human Development and Social Affairs, Prof. Fatou Sow Sarr, Director Humanitarian and Social Affairs Dr. Sintiki T. Ugbe, along with key technical staff members.

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