Monrovia – The Government of Liberia now has a National Anti-Trafficking Hotline, the first of its kind in the country.
The hotline was launched at the Ministry of Labor on July 22, 2016 by Deputy Minister of Labor for Planning and Manpower Development, Patrick Mbayo.
The achievement is sponsored by World Hope International (WHI), a Christian relief and development organization that works with vulnerable and exploited communities to alleviate poverty, suffering and worldwide injustices; with funding from the U.S. government via the Department of State’s Office to monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons.
Now, Liberians can dial 2883 from any mobile phone in the country to report suspected trafficking cases and learn about human trafficking.
The hotline is open from 8AM. to 4PM. Monday through Friday and is expected to expand its coverage to 24 hour a day, 7 days a week.
All calls to the hotline are confidential and callers will not be charge by their cellphone providers.
The National Anti-Trafficking Hotline is part of a broad initiative that aims to enhance victim protection and support the institutionalization of a National Referral Pathway (NRP) in Liberia.
Once the Ministry of Justice provides approval and the NRP is finalized, it will help communities, civil society, law enforcement, prosecutors and government officials to better assist victims of trafficking throughout the country.
The NRP was developed in partnership with the Liberia government and civil society organization coordinated by WHI.
To protect victims, WHI is providing short –term emergency shelter, holistic case management, and reintegration assistance to labor and sex trafficking victims in partnership with a local shelter.
WHI is also working with the media to raise awareness of trafficking though call-in radio shows and anti-trafficking messages.
Stressing the magnitude and danger of human trafficking during the launch of the National Anti-Trafficking Hotline, Deputy Labor Minister said over 20 million persons are victimized annually by trafficking around the world.
He said that Liberia, one of the many countries of origin, transit and destination for men, women and subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking, is contributing to “global gangsterism”.
He called on all sector of society to unite in their effort and stop human trafficking.
Describes lack of information as one of the factors promoting the crime, Mbayo said one way to stop this “evil monster” was to take advantage of the hotline to identify and report trafficking cases.