Posted by: africanpressorganization | 22 September 2009

Liberia / Major Step Forward in Countering Human Trafficking





Liberia / Major Step Forward in Countering Human Trafficking



MONROVIA, Liberia, September 22, 2009/African Press Organization (APO)/ — IOM Press Briefing Notes

A national referral system that will identify, refer, protect and provide follow-up services to victims of human trafficking in Liberia is to be set up by the government with support from IOM through a new one-year programme.

The referral system will also offer voluntary return and reintegration options for both Liberian and internationals trafficked to the country assisted partly through the setting up of a pilot Return and Reintegration Fund. The fund will be able to assist 35 victims.

The programme, funded by IOM’s 1035 Facility, a tool designed to respond rapidly and flexibly to important migration challenges faced by IOM’s developing Member States and Member States with an economy in transition, will allow IOM to provide vital training to government officials. In partnership with the Ministry of Labour and the National Anti-Human Trafficking Taskforce, Liberian government officials in charge of social protection and law enforcement as well as community leaders and religious personnel and civil society, will be trained on the phenomenon of human trafficking, techniques on identifying victims, victim protection and on the implementation of the national referral mechanism.

Specifically, this will include sessions on safe migration, human rights, legal support, rescue, rehabilitation and integration, the health and psychological impacts of trafficking, counseling and communication techniques as well as tackling stigma and discrimination of victims.

Although little is know regarding trends and patterns of trafficking in Liberia, what research has been carried out shows that Liberia is a source, transit and destination country for internal and international human trafficking. Children and women are trafficked mainly for forced labour and sexual exploitation. According to the US State Department’s 2009 Trafficking in Persons Report, internal trafficking in the West African country is mainly from rural to urban areas for domestic servitude, forced petty trade and begging by religious instructors as well as sexual exploitation.
The IOM programme will support the government in its efforts to enact a 2005 law to ban trafficking, and the National Human Trafficking Task Force, created by President Johnson-Sirleaf to spearhead the fight trafficking, to strengthen its capacity to tackle human trafficking.  



International Office of Migration (IOM)


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