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Liberia: Government, IOM to repatriate 16 Sierra Leonean

The National Anti-Human Trafficking Taskforce of Liberia in collaboration with the International Organization for Migration (IOM), say all is set for the repatriation of sixteen Sierra Leonean nationals trafficked to Liberia by Qnet back to their country.

The sixteen persons, 14 males and two females were brought to Liberia in the name of processing their traveling documents for travel to Malaysia for work.

Upon their arrival in Liberia, they were picked up and carried at the Qnet office and were asked to pay US$1,200.00 to process their documents to travel to Malaysia, thereby using Liberia as a transit point.

Meanwhile, the Chairman of the National Anti-Human Trafficking Taskforce of Liberia, Labour Minister Cllr. Charles H. Gibson has hailed the IOM for finalizing the repatriation process of the fourteen Sierra Leoneans with reintegration package.

Minister Gibson said the Taskforce will officially remove the sixteen persons from their safe home and turn them over to the IOM at a well-organized program three days before the repatriation.

According to Minister Gibson while in the custody of the IOM, the victims will be lodged in five-star hotel in Liberia and will undergo series of medical examinations to ensure that they are in good health before returning to their country.   

Minister Gibson added that he and other officials of the IOM will travel by road to Freetown, Sierra Leone for a formal turning over of the victims to authorities of the Sierra Leonian Government.

He encouraged the victims to wisely use the US$1,500.00 reintegration package to put them back on their feet when they get back home.

Chairman Gibson said it is the statutory responsibility of the National Anti-Human Trafficking Taskforce to protect victims regardless of which country they come from.

“We have protected you, prosecuted your perpetrators and is time to go back home; So, we want to do it in a grand style.”

For his part, the IOM Country Coordinator to Liberia, Mr. Mohammed C. Dialo said his organization has been going through process for months working with IOM office in Washington responsible for repatriation and the process has finally gone through.

According to him, the package of repatriation and reintegration to send back home the Sierra Leonians is now on hand.

Mr. Dialo commended the Government of Liberia through National Anti-Human Trafficking Taskforce for taking steps for rescuing and keeping the trafficked victims safely and for prosecuting those involved in the act.

The IOM Country Coordinator acknowledged that Liberia is moving in the right direction as indicated by the US State Department Report on trafficking.

He noted that it is a collective effort noting that as for the IOM they are here to support the government’s efforts in such a manner.

He said the IMO, TIP Secretariat from the Ministry of Labour and the Sierra Leonean Embassy will work collectively with respect to the repatriation.

He said the IOM will provide the traveling tickets and three days before the repatriation, the sixteen victims will remove to a different location and medical examination on them will be carried out as well as COVID Test.

He informed the gathering that the full integration package will be available value about US$1,500.00 in kind.

Also speaking during the meeting, the Deputy Ambassador at the Embassy of Sierra Leone near Monrovia, Amb. Jonathan Saffa thanked the Government of Liberia and IOM for efforts in ensuring that the sixteen citizens of his country are repatriated and provide package for start off.

He thanked Minister Gibson and his task force for rescuing and providing protection for his citizens as well as prosecuting their traffickers and sentencing them to serve as deterrent.

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