By Kruah Thompson
The Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection (MGCSP) welcomes the sentencing of Anthony Sumo to six years imprisonment by the 16th Judicial Circuit Court in Bopolu City, Gbarpolu County for human trafficking.
In January 2021, the convict trafficked 22 children from Gbarpolu County but was nabbed by the Liberia Immigration Service detachment in Margibi County on January 29, 2021. The children were immediately turned over to the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection.
With support from partners, the children’s welfare, including their physical and psychosocial needs were provided by the Ministry.
Working with the Gbarpolu Legislative Caucus, the Ministry along with Child Protection Network (CPN) of Liberia – a body of civil society organizations on Saturday, July 3, 2021, received a permit from the Ministry of Justice to reunite the 22 children with their families.
Additionally, the Ministry presented cash, food, and non-food items to the families.
The Ministry believes that the December 14, 2021 ruling from the court is a victory for the fight against human trafficking which will serve as a deterrent to would-be traffickers.
Gender, Children and Social Protection Minister Williametta E. Saydee-Tarr confirms that the routine monitoring of the children by the Ministry will remain active. She further reaffirms Gender’s commitment to achieving PILLAR 1 of the Pro-Poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development, (Power to the People) 2. 4.2 that highlights Children protection as a key priority of the Government of Liberia.
In observance of this year’s celebration of World Day against Trafficking in Persons (TIP), President George Manneh Weah emphasized the compelling responsibility of not only government but every citizen and resident within our borders to exert meaningful efforts, leaving no stone unturned, in ensuring the minimization and subsequent total eradication of all forms of Human Trafficking in Liberia.
President Weah recounted his government’s concerted and unrelenting efforts to eradicate human trafficking.
According to the President, the Government of Liberia has passed the 2005 Act, which banned and criminalized the trafficking of humans in Liberia.
The government has also established the National Anti-human Trafficking Taskforce, coupled with several key policy documents such as A Situational Analysis of Human Trafficking; The First and Second National Action Plans to fight Human Trafficking; The Standard Operating Procedures to assist victims of Human Trafficking; The National Referral Mechanism the stipulates not only the roles and responsibilities of actors but also referral programs and procedures for trafficked survivors.
The Ministry thanks the National Anti-Human Trafficking Taskforce chaired by the Ministry of Labour and Co-chaired by the Ministries of Justice and Gender, for the unending coordination and collaboration in addressing trafficking issues. The Ministry also applauds the Justice Ministry for successfully prosecuting Convict Anthony Sumo.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Gender says it will remain engaged with court proceedings as Elizabeth McCree, a co-defendant in the case is scheduled for a separate trial in January 2022.https://thenewdawnliberia.com/liberia-human-trafficker-gets-6-years-sentence/ Editing by Jonathan Browne