The United States Government, through its embassy near Monrovia, has expressed disappointment in the Liberian Legislature for failure to amend certain portions of the 2005 Act that deals with the crime of human trafficking.
United States ambassador to Liberia, Michael McCarthy, speaking on Monday, August 2, 2021 at the Judiciary, said the United States submitted a report to the National Legislature requesting specific amendments to the 2005 law, but for several years now the lawmakers have chosen not to act upon it.
Ambassador McCarthy said, because of the National Legislature’s refusal to amend the 2005 Trafficking in Person Act, the country could unfortunately lose an incredible amount of money from the United States Government.
He is quoted as saying “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 suggested changes are relatively stated in the report. I hope the Legislature understands that their inaction sent a bad message that trafficking in person is an absolute no importance to them.
The US Ambassador went on to express his hope that the lawmaking house will understand that its message has been received that trafficking in person is not important to the people of Liberia.
He asserted that when the Legislative branch chooses a different message the United States will be open and ready to work with them, just as it has been working with the Judiciary and Justice Ministry.
The US ambassador’s statement was contained in his speech during the official presentation of trafficking in person bench books to the Judiciary.
He averred that the human trafficking books are intended to be used as a knowledge tool to enhance effective adjudication of trafficking in person cases by Liberian judges.
Supreme Court Chief Justice, Francis S. Korkpor, receiving the trafficking binders in person on behalf of the Judiciary, thanked the US government for the magnificent work on human trafficking in Liberia.
Chief Justice Korkpor said that human trafficking poses a threat to Liberian society because it affects the most vulnerable group in society.
Chief Justice Korkpor said the United States Department Report shows that a large number of people from the rural parts are trafficked to the urban areas, and once they are in the urban settlement there is no control as they can be trafficked in neighbouring countries and parts of the world.
According to him, the issue of trafficking in persons is relatively new to Liberia in terms of dealing with the crime and the law that applies to it.