The Defence for Children International (DCI) Sierra Leone, in collaboration with UNICEF and government of Sierra Leone, has held a one-day training workshop for law enforcement officials on the implementation of the Anti Trafficking Act 2005. The programme, which was at the District Council hall in Kenema, attracted the police, military and prison officials, office of national security and social welfare gender and children’s affairs.
The chairperson for the programme, the senior high court judge east Nyawo Maturi-Jones, in her opening remarks welcomed participants and organizers for their contributions in organizing the programme.
She said, “the programme aims at bringing together law enforcement officials from the three districts of Kailahun, Kenema and Kono to implement their Anti Trafficking Act at district level”.
She said human trafficking was a concern to the state, which needed to be addressed by the law enforcement officials, adding that “human trafficking is a criminal act in the laws of Sierra Leone”. Judge Maturi-Jones said the courts were ready to deal with anybody who fell short of the law. The national president Defence for Children International, Moses Zombo, outlined their role in dealing with child protection and significance of organizing the workshop.
He explained the international instruments and their relevance in human trafficking, and appealed to participants to disseminate the knowledge gained from the training to others in their communities.
The national coordinator Defence for Children International, Abdul Mahab Kemokai, said the trafficking in Person Acts of 2005 stated that the government of Sierra Leone should put in place ways of stopping human trafficking in the country, and that the law enforcement officials were responsible to take care of the problem of illegal movements of persons within and out of the country.
He highlighted the principles and guidelines for the protection of victims of trafficking and encouraged the law officials to work in collaboration with the community people in tackling the problem. Lawyer Catherine Martin explained the law of trafficking and the penalty for committing that act.