The Government of the United States of America through its Embassy near Monrovia has registered its disappointment with members of the Liberian Legislature, over the lawmakers’ failure to amend certain portions of the 2005 Act on anti-human trafficking.
American Ambassador accredited to Liberia, Michael McCarthy, on Monday, 2 August, made known the U.S government’s disappointment with the Liberian lawmakers, in an address at the Judiciary, indicating that the U.S. submitted a report to the Liberian Legislature requesting specific amendments to the 2005 law, but noted that for several years now Liberian legislators have reneged on taking the necessary actions.
Ambassador McCarthy said due to what he termed the Liberian Legislature’s refusal to amend certain portions of the country’s 2005 Act on anti-trafficking in persons, Liberia risks losing an incredible amount of money from the U.S. government.
“We are disappointed with the lack of action on the part of the Legislature. We have been highlighting the need for specific amendments to the 2005 law for several years now,” the U.S. envoy maintained, noting that his government’s proposed changes to the 2005 anti-human trafficking law are relatively stated in the report.
“I hope the Legislature understands that their inaction sends a bad message that trafficking in person is an absolute no importance to them,” Ambassador McCarthy said, while expressing the hope that the Liberian Legislature understands the implication of their message of noncompliance is being received as Liberians, who the lawmakers represent, not taking trafficking in person important.
Ambassador McCarthy that until Liberian legislators choose a different message, the U.S. is open and ready to working with them just as it has been working with the Liberia’s Judiciary Branch and the country’s Ministry of Justice.
The US envoy made these assertions during the official presentation of trafficking in person bench books to members of the Judiciary.
Ambassador McCarthy then averred that the human trafficking books are intended to be used by Liberian judges as a knowledge tool to enhance effective adjudication of cases of trafficking in person.
Receiving the trafficking in person bench books on behalf of the Judiciary, Liberia’s Chief Justice, Francis S. Korkpor, thanked the U.S. government for what he referred to as a splendid work on human trafficking in Liberia.
Chief Justice Korkpor said the issue of human trafficking is a menace to the Liberian society, adding that human trafficking involves the most vulnerable groups in the society.
The Liberian Chief Justice pointed out that in Liberia specifically, the U.S. State Department’s report shows that large numbers of people from the rural parts are trafficked to the urban areas and once they are in the urban settlement, where he said there is no control, such persons can then be trafficked to neighboring countries and other parts of the world.
According to Chief Justice Korkpor, the issue of trafficking in person is relatively new to Liberia in terms of dealing with the crime and the law applicable thereto.