Liberia A ‘Center for Human Trafficking’?

first_imgThe National Secretariat of Trafficking in Person (TIP) working with the Ministry of Labor has identified the South-eastern region of the country as the area from which most children trafficked to Monrovia and other cities originate.The disclosure was made last Wednesday in Monrovia at a one-day workshop organized for journalists by World Hope International (WHI).Adolphus G. Satiah of the National Secretariat for TIP emphasized that most children his organization has identified in Monrovia as being trafficked come from Grand Gedeh, Maryland, River Gee and Sinoe counties.He said parents of some of the trafficked children give them to either relatives or friends who promise to send them to school, but on the contrary, the children end up being used as domestic servants.“Most people in those South-eastern counties are poor so they sometimes give their children to people living in urban areas, especially in Monrovia, hoping they would be sent to school, but instead, many are made to work without going to the school,” Mr. Satiah said.He said they have found out in Monrovia and Bomi County from investigations that most of the children selling in the streets and burning coal trace their backgrounds from the South-eastern region with a few from Nimba and Lofa Counties.Mr. Satiah also pointed out that Liberia is recorded in a U.S. State Department report as the center for trafficking. He said in Liberia, traffickers from other parts of the world bring trafficked persons and take them to various destinations around the world.He said human trafficking is illegal and is prohibited by law in Liberia, and urged journalists and the public to take keen note and report cases of trafficking to th relevant authorities.For his part, World Hope International Program Manager, Wellington A. Kollie, defined trafficking in persons to be “Modern day slavery,” noting that trafficking is identified by the act, means and purpose.He said the act involves the recruiting process, the means as the pretense under which recruitment is done and the purpose serving as the reasons for taking the recruits to the intended destinations.He clarified that obtaining a person through deception, force or coercion for the purpose of exploitation in all forms constitutes human trafficking.Mr. Kollie said children less than 18 years have been trafficked from one place to the other in the country to work on farms, sell in the streets, beg, burn charcoal and mine minerals in the bush.He also said young girls are also trafficked and prostituted in hotels and bars in Monrovia, and areas where diamond and gold are mined in the country.Earlier, Mr. Kollie said young people (males and females) were trafficked for war and ritual purpose.He said because of the horrific increase in human trafficking in Liberia with the propensity to undermine the economy and human capita, the media needs to be proactive to report cases through proper investigation.In consonance with presentations from the two men, U.S. State Department of 2015 about Liberia states, “Liberia is a source and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking. Most trafficking victims originate from and are exploited within the country’s borders, where they are subjected to domestic servitude, forced begging, sex trafficking, or forced labor in street vending, alluvial diamond mines, and on rubber plantations. Traffickers typically operate independently and are commonly family members, who promise poorer relatives a better life for their children. Children sent to work as domestic servants for their wealthier relatives are vulnerable to forced labor or, to a lesser extent, sexual exploitation.Orphaned children remain susceptible to exploitation, including in street selling and prostitution.A small number of Liberian men, women, and children are subjected to human trafficking in other West African countries, including Cote d’Ivoire, Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Nigeria. Victims of transnational trafficking come to Liberia from neighboring West African countries, including Sierra Leone, Guinea, Cote d’Ivoire, and Nigeria, and are subjected to the same types of exploitation as internally trafficked victims. Women from Tunisia and Morocco have been subjected to sex trafficking in Liberia. During the reporting period, Liberian women were subjected to forced labor in Lebanon. Bribery at border stations, capacity issues, and generalized corruption within the judiciary continued to hamper trafficking investigations and prosecutions.”Mrs. Princess Taire, Deputy Program Manager of World Hope International emphasized the need for confidentiality in dealing with victims of trafficking.Mrs. Taire stressed that trafficking victims are maltreated that they become traumatized, and exposing them without their consent causes more harm to them.She said while journalists are to report facts, it is expedient for them to work with trafficking victims like trained social workers, who observe ethical guidelines of confidentiality that prevents victims from exposure.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Hippie Hippie Shakedown: But where was love?

first_imgWHEN it comes to inappropriate names, “Summer of Love” has to be right up there with “Joy Division,” the name the Nazis reportedly gave to the sections of concentration camps that housed the guards’ sex slaves. For one thing, it was not just a summer event. The countercultural happening that swept through San Francisco and beyond began with an April1967 planning announcement by concert promoter Chet Helms, aka Family Dog, creating the “Council for the Summer of Love.” It still goes on today in the burned-out minds of its rapidly fading survivors, remnants of the thousands of teens who ran away to find Love in San Francisco, only to wind up wasted on a street whose name sounds like hate. Where, indeed, was the love in the San Francisco of Helms, the Diggers, the San Francisco Oracle, and other Summer of Love organizers, of whom so many have died young? Helms would later boast on his Web site that the event “sowed the seeds of a compassionate idealism which still lives in the hearts of many of our own and subsequent generations.” He pointed to the organizers’ efforts to feed the runaways. Other Summer of Love chroniclers note that the Haight Ashbury Free Clinics, founded in the summer of 1967, still help the needy today. The irony is that there would have been no need to feed those runaways, nor to care for so many drug abusers, alcoholics and venereal-disease victims, had Helms – who succumbed to hepatitis C at 63 – and his compatriots not encouraged youths to flood San Francisco. And for what, exactly? Drugs, to be sure, and “free love” – “free,” as opposed to the kind that costs money, apparently. Thanks to the Pill and a counterculture that defined rebellion as annoying one’s parents, thousands of youths became guinea pigs in a kind of mass experiment propagated by prurient Beat Generation relics such as Helms, Allen Ginsberg (died at 70, hepatitis and liver cancer) and Ken Kesey (died at 66, liver cancer). They were told that they would overcome the superficial consumerism in which they had been raised, reaching a higher spiritual level by uniting their minds to drugs and their bodies to willing takers. Instead, they themselves became products to be consumed – victimized by pushers, treated as sexual objects to be disposed of, or corrupted into predators. It boggles the mind to think what the Summer of Love’s sad victims could have accomplished if, rather than seeking to fulfill their own juvenile desires, they had aimed to create a true culture of love. Instead, in following their leaders’ urging to do their own thing, they found themselves locked in a society that gave them all the restrictions of communal life – poverty, squalor, and social pressure to self-destruct – and few of the protections. At the celebrated Be-Ins and Love-Ins, the mob ruled, while – like those Playboy cartoons of orgies where one person’s orifice is indistinguishable from another’s – the individual was subsumed. Meanwhile, one corner of the culture, recognizing the counterculture’s threat to the individual, composed a clarion call for the restoration of human dignity. A work in progress during the Summer of Love, published the following summer, it attacked those who, in pursuing solutions to overpopulation and other contemporary concerns, put forth “an utterly materialistic conception of man himself and his life.” Instead, it urged world powers to develop a solution “which envisages the social and economic progress both of individuals and of the whole of human society, and which respects and promotes true human values.” That’s real love. However, when those words of Pope John XXIII, quoted in Pope Paul VI’s “Humanae Vitae,” emerged in 1968, few of the hippies bothered to read them, let alone follow them as far as they led. All they knew was the five-word condensation of the encyclical that appeared on a popular poster, underneath an image of the Pope pointing his finger Uncle Sam-style: “The Pill Is a No-No.” Supporters of the hippies’ objectives argue that they and future generations benefited from the dismantling of repressive Eisenhower-era values that restricted sex to marriage. Well, say what you will about a culture that presumed women found their highest fulfillment in motherhood, but one doesn’t see many repressed housewives panhandling on modern-day Haight Street. One does see lost geriatric flower children with stringy hair and rotten teeth who contracepted or aborted the children who could have taken care of them in their old age. Years after the Summer of Love’s Bay Area invasion, a more moneyed class of Californians popularized a term that parallels what the hippies accomplished: garbage in/garbage out. The true measure of the success of the Love-In is the love that came out. Today, the counterculture’s victims are dying with few children to mourn them – at least, few who are willing to speak to parents who put their own desires ahead of their children’s. It is the end of a long, bad trip. Dawn Eden is director of the Cardinal Newman Society’s Love and Responsibility Program. She is author of “The Thrill of the Chaste: Finding Fulfillment While Keeping Your Clothes On.” 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more