Government wants to expedite prosecution of all pending cases of trafficking in persons

EYEAFRICA TV: Banjul, The Gambia: Director General of Department of Strategic Planning and Delivery at the office of the president said his office is strongly determined to facilitate the quick prosecution of all pending cases of trafficking in persons while investigations are ready to commence.

Addressing participants at the closing of a two-day working session convened to amplify the fight against trafficking in persons at Coral beach hotel and Spa in Brufut, Alagie Nyangado said the work is a national responsibility and the earlier everyone stand to fight against the threat of trafficking in persons, the better for The Gambia as a nation.

Mr Nyangado said they have identified additional nine investigators to NAATIP office. “We have established a special commission to immediately investigate nine cases that have been already identified and be prosecuted immediately so that people will understand that government is not taking the matter lightly.”

He said democracy means the three arms of the government must be independent, saying they have no means to force the judiciary to act but they feel it is their collective responsibility to fight the challenges of trafficking in persons.

The session was convened by the Department of Strategic Policy and Delivery at the office of the president in partnership with the National Agency Against Trafficking in Persons (NAATIP) and the International Organization on Migration (IOM).

Human trafficking in The Gambia covers activities in trafficking women and children. Within the Gambia, women and girls and, to a lesser extent, boys are trafficked for commercial sexual exploitation, as well as for domestic servitude.

Mr Nyangado said they will not relent in their crusade against the act of trafficking in persons, saying this is just the beginning because the questioner they are responding to was filled last year and they are now making a follow up to that. “You cannot have a peaceful society when the society is not just.”

At the commencement of the session, Gambia’s vice president Dr Isatou Touray said the government has zero tolerance for human trafficking, saying it will continue to be stringent about it in collaboration with responsible bodies to ensure that it is eradicated in the country.

The Gambia 2019 trafficking in persons index reports that the country is a source and destination for women and children subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking.

Executive Director of NAATIP, Toulie Jawara Ceesay hopes that the two days session has created knowledge and added the participants’ understanding of issues of trafficking in persons.

Story written by Binta Badjie

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