The U.S. Embassy in Liberia is commending the Government of Liberia for demonstrating sufficient progress in the fight against Human Trafficking. In the 2020 Trafficking in Persons Country Report for Liberia released by the U.S. Embassy in Monrovia, the United States Government says it is time to elevate Liberia to Tier 2, having spent three years on Tier 2 Watch List, as determined by the U.S. State Department’s Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons.
“This outcome reflects the dedicated efforts of the Government of Liberia to fight human trafficking, as well as the achievements possible through U.S.-Liberia partnership: we’ve been here, we’re still here, working together”, says the U.S. Embassy.
The statement notes that over the past two years, the Government of Liberia has shown a steadfast willingness to tackle the problem of human trafficking, specially, domestic forced labor of children by reinvigorating the Trafficking in Persons Task Force, led by the Ministry of Labor, increasing investigations, increasing the identification of victims, and providing budgetary support to anti-trafficking efforts.
“These successes required the sustained cooperation of investigators, prosecutors, law enforcement officers and trainers, and labor officials, and show that even under difficult circumstances, when resources appear scarce, the public sector and civil society can work together to protect citizens and promote accountability.”
U.S. Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo, describes Human trafficking as one of the most heinous crimes on Earth, disclosing that currently, traffickers are robbing a staggering 24.9 million people of their freedom and basic human dignity, which is three times the population of New York City.
“We must band together and build momentum to defeat human trafficking. We must hold the perpetrators of this heinous crime accountable. We must achieve justice for survivors as they rebuild their lives. We must reinvigorate our shared commitment to extinguish human trafficking wherever it exists. There is no time to waste”, says Mr. Pompeo in a statement.
The U.S. Ambassador-at-Large to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons, John Cotton Richmond, says promoting justice and human rights around the world is essential because freedom and individual human dignity are core to American values and the foundation of international law.
“These are the very principles that traffickers work against when they commit these crimes. I am confident that we can make significant strides to hold accountable domestic, and transnational, traffickers and effectively implement laws so that all may enjoy freedom.”
The Embassy congratulates the Ministry of Labor for coordinating the efforts of the Trafficking in Persons Task Force, while also offering special recognition to the sustained efforts of partners in the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission, the Liberia Immigration Service, the Liberia National Police (LNP), the Ministry of Gender, Children, and Social Protection, the Liberia Drug Enforcement Agency, the Ministry of Justice, and the LNP Transnational Crimes Unit.
The Embassy would also commends civil society organizations for their active involvement in reporting potential trafficking cases and coordinating services for potential victims, especially the Community Watch Forum, Defence for Children International, Orphan Relief and Rescue, THINK Liberia, World Hope International, and YWCA Liberia.
The statement recalls that in September 2019, U.S. Ambassador-at-Large to Monitor and Combat Trafficking-in-Persons John Cotton Richmond visited Liberia, and met with President George M. Weah, along with key members of his cabinet, who pledged support for increased efforts against human trafficking. “That support has encouraged police, immigration, and border officials to investigate possible crimes, social workers to place child victims in shelters, and prosecutors to take up cases.”
It notes that these are important first steps, and the Embassy looks forward to working alongside the member agencies of the Trafficking in Persons Task Force as they continue to improve their ability to combat human trafficking and child labor in the country. Statement