The Liberia Media for Democratic Initiative (LMDI) in partnership with Internews has concluded a regional awareness campaign on Trafficking in Persons (TIP) in southeastern Liberia.
The awareness conducted through community media forums, according to Internews regional community radio advisor, Sonnie Morris, is intended to inform community members about the danger and effect Trafficking In Persons has on communities and lives of ordinary Liberians.
She stressed the importance for such exercise in rural communities because rural dwellers have been victimized over the years due to the level of confidence they have built in family members and friends, entrusted their children to them in urban areas for school purposes.
Some parents, she noted, did not care to know the status and whereabouts of people they entrusted their children with in the past because of low financial income, as a result of which children were kept out of school and eventually become breadwinners for the homes of their guardians.
She noted that Trafficking In Persons also affects adults, who are being deceived by foreign residents, who expressing interest in young Liberian men and women purportedly for marriage, employment opportunities and foreign studies as means of taking them to locations unknown to their family members here, only to use them either for ritual or as sex slaves.
Morris said incidents of such cases easily take place mainly in rural communities because of parents’ delinquency to follow up their children’s status and destinations each time they give them out.
She believes that government and partners’ recent action to lead awareness against human trafficking, will help reduce forced labor, sexual slavery, exploitation and ritualistic killings, among others.
Morris has called on citizens to report any form of human trafficking to the requisite authorities for legal action, adding that compromising cases of such will not help the society.
Leading these public campaigns is the Liberia Media for Democratic Initiative (LMDI), an implementing partner for Internews Liberia.
Internews under its “Liberia Media Development (LMD)” program with funding from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is working with 21 community radio stations across the country, providing trainings and broadcast equipment, respectively.
One of the many forums conducted by LMDI brought together participants from Gbon, Yediaken, and Weleken recently on the Gbawily football field, Yederobo Chiefdom, Karluway Statutory District.
After many testimonies of human trafficking, participants, at the close of the forum, hailed Internews and partners, and called for more awareness in the county. By Gareyson Neufville, Maryland–Editing by Jonathan Browne