The Ministry of Labor through the National Anti-Human Trafficking Taskforce has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with five local NGOs in a bid to end human trafficking and child labor in Liberia.
At the ceremony in Congo Town on Wednesday, Labor Minister Counsellor Charles Gibson described the partnership agreement as a significant gain in the fight against human trafficking and child labor in the country.
The local NGOs selected to implement the project include the National Parents Teachers Association of Liberia, the National Coalition of Civil Society Organization of Liberia, Children Against Force Labor, the Community Watch forum of Liberia and the Liberia Association of Female Sociologists.
He said the five NGOs selected will be charged to carry out awareness in rural communities using town hall engagements, dramatization depicting trafficking and child labor issues among others.
Minister Gibson noted that ‘’Most of those children that are victims of child abuse are from the rural areas, their relatives will go in the interior engage their parents with lots of hope of bringing them to Monrovia and other cities in Liberia to go to school. And when they get to these cities instead of going to school they are selling, or working in places that they should not be working’’ he asserted.
According to him, the Ministry is also working on regulations to ensure punitive actions are taken against people involved in human trafficking and child labor related issues.
He said the days are gone when children rights were being abused or violated with no remorse and warmed against drastic action to who be violators.
The Labor minister furthered that in the coming days, all labor commissioners across the country will embark on intensive training in human trafficking and child abuse to beef off its activities moving to the counties.
He said with support from the Internationa Labor Organization, the government of Liberia is committed to ensuring that people rights are respected and protected at all times.
Minister Gibson maintained that if the fight against human trafficking and child labor must be sustained the collaboration and support of all citizens can’t be overemphasized.
He said why it is true that the government is making some efforts to ending the menace, parents should be cognizant as to who takes their children in city areas with the pretence of supporting them.
Speaking on behalf of the five implementing NGOs madam Roberta Freeman of the Women and Children in Action for Development, Inc. termed the partnership agreement as a milestone achievement in child labor and abuse.
She pledged the various institutions’ commitment to working with the Ministry of Labor and the National Anti-Human Trafficking Taskforce to ensure that the project goals are achieved in the counties.
‘’This is the very first of its kind, and seriously I am shocked, I am overwhelmed by what has happened’’ she asserted.
Madam Freeman furthered that the project will go a long way in creating a safe Liberia where the rights of children can be protected.
As per the MOU, each local NGO is to receive the amount of one thousand United States Dollars ($1,000) to carry out awareness in rural Liberia.