Poverty, Illiteracy, Others Are Recipes to Trafficking
-IOM Consultant Tells Liberians
By Leroy M. Sonpon, III
An international consultant has attributed the rising rate of human trafficking in Liberia and other African countries to ignorance, illiteracy and poverty on the continent.
Consultant Eric Peasa of the International Organization of Migration (IOM), is of the view that human trafficking which concerns the recruitment, transportation, harboring, or receipt of people, mainly children, under the pretext adoption is being perpetuated in Liberia.
He strongly called for reverse of the situation in the best interest of Africa and its people.
The IOM consultant told a symposium in Monrovia recently that there is a dire need for massive and sustained public awareness and education on the dangers of human trafficking.
According to him, latest research conducted shows that human trafficking was rampant in Africa.
He further told the symposium attended by representatives of civil society organizations and the media to play pivotal role in the sensitization of the African people and other stakeholders to join in the global fight against the practice.
Mr. Peasa: “children are the future of any society, as such; the Liberian society must be able to protect its future by protecting every Liberian child by getting involved in the brawl to eliminate human trafficking in Liberia, in any form.”
“Human trafficking is real and we believe the involvement of the civil society groups, by training them, is a campaign to help the government combat human trafficking,” he added.
The consultant is also of the opinion that civil society organizations including the media could be a help in dissimilating information about the ills of trafficking.
“The civil society could also be a help in providing shelter, rehabilitation and reintegration of the affected children. We hope they should not shelf what they have acquired today for the sake of Liberia and Africa at large,” the Ghanaian trafficking consultant further accentuated.
For his part, the National Coordinator of the Anti-Human Trafficking Task Force, Mr. Freddie D. Goe told journalists that the daylong training symposium for civil society groups sought to enhance the understanding of the participants on the dangers of trafficking and to join the battle against its decimated from Liberia and other countries in Africa.
He observed that there has been rampant illegal adoption of persons by traffickers for personal aggrandizement under the pretext of running orphanages.
The symposium was organized by the Anti-Human Trafficking Task Force of Liberia in collaboration with the International Organization of Migration (IOM).
It brought together representatives from 14 civil society organizations.
Among the participating organizations were Save Africa International, YMCA-Liberia, Ministry of Labor, Christian Media Center, Foundation International Dignity (FIND), Media against Human Trafficking and Human Concern.
Others were Liberia National Law and Human Rights Center, Center for Law and Human Trafficking, Humanist Movement, Liberians United to Expose Hidden Weapons (LUEHW), Christians United for Humanitarian Service, amongst others.
Meanwhile, as part of the global fight against human trafficking, the Government of Liberia(GOL) had frozen the recent adoption of over 30 Liberian children abroad. It subsequently halted further operation of the agency which the state said had been operated illegally.
The GOL, through the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare vehemently condemned the activities of the West African Children Support Network (WASCN) which it said was planning to adopt 37 children outside the perimeters of the laws of the country.
Picture See Sammy/Alaska (IOM Consultant Eric Peasa Lecturing On The Ills Of Trafficking)