MONROVIA: In an effort to reduce human trafficking across Liberia, Shaping a Better World through Research and Action, in collaboration with Wellesley Centers for Women, completed a day-long training targeting market women in Monrovia.
The training-of-trainers workshop, which brought together directors, deputies of governmental and nongovernmental institutions, is expected to create massive awareness in the incoming months on human trafficking.
Speaking to reporters following the training, the head of Wellesley Centers for Women, Layli Maparyan, said the workshop will help participants gain relevant knowledge to create awareness among market women, who in most cases, are unknowingly involved in trafficking.
She named poverty and unemployment as major contributing factors for trafficking in the country.
“One major thing people talk about is the degree to which poverty contributes to human trafficking in Liberia. When people are desperate for resources, they will often take desperate measures to meet their needs,” she said.
“Sometimes they can even go so far by releasing their children into the care of other people but sometimes those other people do not treat the children correctly,” Mrs. Maparyan added.
Giving a case study of human trafficking in Liberia, with focus on West Point, the Director and Project Coordinator of West Point Women for Health and Development, Nelly Cooper, used the occasion to encourage government’s institutions to work with community NGOs in reducing human trafficking.
According to Mrs. Cooper, her organization has encountered lots of cases but with inadequate support, they have not been able to pursue most.
She wants the government to monitor impoverished communities, including New Kru Town, where poverty is high therefore leading to trafficking in persons being commonly practiced.
It can be recalled that state broadcaster ELBC correspondent in Zwedru, Grand Gedeh, reported that several agents from a company called Q-Net including the company’s manager Binta Jallo, were taken to the Seventh Judicial Circuit Court in Zwedru City.
They were accused of trafficking 16 West Africans into Liberia from Guinea, Togo, and the Ivory Coast.
The victims also claimed that Q-Net agents have been preventing them from having access to huge sum of money they said they’ve deposited into the company’s system.
The correspondent also said that two of the motions currently in the judge’s chambers regarding the matter were dismissed recently.
There is a motion for separate trial for the Q-net manager and another motion for restitution of the monies allegedly extorted from the complainants
Following the training, which happened at Jorkpen Town Market on 6th Street, Sinkor, the participants lauded Shaping a Better World through Research and Action in collaboration with the Wellesley Centers for Women for knowledge gained.
They promised to spread the message against human trafficking in the country.