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Liberia: Child Trafficking Rises in MRU Basin

Wednesday, 19 June 2013 13:02 // 2419
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Four child's rights organizations in the Mano River Union (MRU) basin, including the Defense for Children International Liberia (DCI-Liberia) have urged governments of member states to tackle cross-border child trafficking.

In a chat with this paper upon return to the country from Freetown, Sierra Leone, the Executive Director of DCI-Liberia, Foday Kawah, said cross-border child trafficking remains a post-conflict creeping menace that must be tackled quickly in the Mano River region.

Kawah had gone to Freetown, Sierra Leone to attend a three-day regional strategic planning meeting on cross-border trafficking. He said records of the four MRU countries show that hundreds of children are trafficked from Liberia, Sierra Leone, Ivory Coast and Guinea annually. Kawah said it is troubling to see children, who are future leaders of Africa being exploited and misused.

The DCI-Liberia Executive stressed that Africa's future depends on her children so governments in the basin must institute a strong mechanism that will tackle the trafficking of Africa's future leaders.

"As we speak, we have rescued over 50 children from child traffickers. These children are currently being kept in safe condition in Freetown. They are from Liberia, Guinea, Sierra Leone and Ivory Coast. We are working to see how to reunite them with their parents," Kawah stated.

According to him, destinations of children trafficked are probably Europe and other parts of the developed world. He said some are being used as domestic slaves and sex workers within the MRU basin.

"Our cross-border monitoring with other organizations intercepted these children in the capitals of these Mano River Union countries and at towns and villages near the various borders," he disclosed. He noted that the weak border monitoring of child trafficking is responsible for the continued trafficking of children within the region.

"We want the government of these MRU countries to put into place a good child protection monitoring mechanism at the various MRU borders. We believe that doing this will scare local and internal child traffickers away", Kawah concluded.

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Last modified on Thursday, 30 January 2014 22:53
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