The Ministry of Labor, in collaboration with World Hope International, has official launched the National Anti-Human Trafficking taskforce hotline in Liberia. The launch of the hot line is the first of its kind in Liberia.
According to the National Coordinator of Anti- human Trafficking Secretariat, Adolphus G. Satiah, the purpose of the hotline is to allow the general public report suspected cases of human trafficking from their various communities to the Tip secretariat for prompt redress.
He said the secretariat of the National Anti-Human trafficking Task Force of Liberia was committed to the multilateral interregional cooperation agreement to combat trafficking in persons. He also noted that on October 27, 2006, since President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf constituted the anti-human trafficking taskforce, it has been actively engaged in series of activities aimed at eradicating the crime in the country and the sub region.
He also said the Government of Liberia, in collaboration with the International Organization for Migration, hired a consultant that developed a five-year National Action Plan that runs up to 2018 from 2013.
The NAP, among other things, addresses key critical issues as relating to human trafficking such as prevention, protection, prosecution and partnership.
Satiah noted that the ongoing human trafficking case, involving a Lebanese businessman and 16 ladies, has ended and a hung verdict was ruled by the judge, but the prosecutors have filed a motion for retrial.
He also noted that the major constraint encountered is the lack of funding to carry out activities across the country, calling on the Government of Liberia to allot funds to enable them to extend operational activities to other parts of the country.
Also speaking, the Program Manager of World Hope International, Wellington A. Kollie, said the hotline launched was funded by the American thru the WHI to increase the reporting and identification of TIP cases.
He said it is operated by the GOL, with backup from WHI, and that all are treated confidentially and information are handled on a need to know bases, saying the hotline is opened to everyone freeof charge, with the number 2883.-
By Bridgett Milton