Statement on the Release of the 2020 Trafficking in Persons Report for Liberia

June 25, 2020

The U.S. Embassy in Liberia is pleased to release the 2020 Trafficking in Persons Country Report for Liberia and to announce that the Government of Liberia has demonstrated sufficient progress to be elevated to Tier 2 after three years on Tier 2 Watch List, as determined by the U.S. State Department’s Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons.  This outcome reflects the dedicated efforts of the Government of Liberia to fight human trafficking, as well as the achievements possible through U.S.-Liberia partnership:  we’ve been here, we’re still here, working together.

Over the past two years, the Government of Liberia has shown a steadfast willingness to tackle the problem of human trafficking—especially domestic forced labor of children—by reinvigorating the Trafficking in Persons Task Force, led by the Ministry of Labor, increasing investigations, increasing the identification of victims, and providing budgetary support to anti-trafficking efforts.  These successes required the sustained cooperation of investigators, prosecutors, law enforcement officers and trainers, and labor officials, and show that even under difficult circumstances, when resources appear scarce, the public sector and civil society can work together to protect citizens and promote accountability.

The Embassy would like to congratulate the Ministry of Labor for coordinating the efforts of the Trafficking in Persons Task Force, while also offering special recognition to the sustained efforts of partners in the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission, the Liberia Immigration Service, the Liberia National Police (LNP), the Ministry of Gender, Children, and Social Protection, the Liberia Drug Enforcement Agency, the Ministry of Justice, and the LNP Transnational Crimes Unit.

The Embassy would also like to commend civil society organizations for their active involvement in reporting potential trafficking cases and coordinating services for potential victims, especially the Community Watch Forum, Defence for Children International, Orphan Relief and Rescue, THINK Liberia, World Hope International, and YWCA Liberia.

In September 2019, U.S. Ambassador-at-Large to Monitor and Combat Trafficking-in-Persons John Cotton Richmond visited Liberia, and met with His Excellency President George M. Weah, along with key members of his cabinet, who pledged support for increased efforts against human trafficking.  That support has encouraged police, immigration, and border officials to investigate possible crimes, social workers to place child victims in shelters, and prosecutors to take up cases.  These are important first steps, and the Embassy looks forward to working alongside the member agencies of the Trafficking in Persons Task Force as they continue to improve their ability to combat human trafficking and child labor.