Fourteen of the Liberian girls said to have been subjected to inhumane treatments in Lebanon, at the hands on their respective employers met with President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf Monday praying her to ensure the safe return of the rest of their colleagues.
The girls were among several others allegedly lured to take up domestic house help jobs in Lebanon in the form of a greener pasture. The 14 returned recently following repeated media reports that they were being abused by their employers. This is the first time Liberians have been reported of taking up domestic house help jobs outside of the country particularly in the Middle East.
Meeting the girls Monday, President Sirleaf assured them that her administration would do everything possible to ensure that justice prevail and those held accountable for their ordeal face the full weight of the law.
The girls return was facilitated by the Government of Liberia through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Their meeting with President Sirleaf at the Cabinet conference room at the Foreign Ministry was to show appreciation for government’s efforts that paved the way for their return home.
She informed the young ladies they did not deserve the kinds of treatment meted out to them especially in light of the circumstances under which they were lured out of the country in search of uncertain greener pasture.
President Sirleaf assured that the government through the Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection would work with them in identifying areas of interest aimed at self-empowerment. The President called on the young ladies to exercise patience in view of the usually long drawn out judicial process. She was quick to add that in respect of the independence of that Branch of Government it would be wise to follow the process in order for justice to be done.
Speaking on behalf of their colleagues, three of the young ladies thanked President Sirleaf for her personal interest in ensuring their successful return and expressed the hope that government would accelerate the return of their colleagues still trapped in Lebanon. Contrary to media speculations, all 14 young ladies appear healthy while at a safe location under ‘witness protection. – Edited by Othello B. Garblah