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Saturday, April 20, 2024

Victims of Human Trafficking Trust Fund launched

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Victims of Human Trafficking Trust Fund launched

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First Lady of Sierra Leone Dr. Fatima Maada Bio, has joined forces with the Ministry of Social Welfare and the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Task Force to formally launched the Victims of Human Trafficking Trust Fund, at the Freetown city Council Hall .

During the official launching and keynote address, Her Excellency Dr. Fatima Maada Bio, First Lady of the Republic of Sierra Leone, highlighted the severity of human trafficking, being one of the focal points that the “Hands Off Our Girls” campaign has championed. She reiterated her steadfast commitment to eradicating this menace in collaboration with the relevant authorities.

Illustrating the grim reality of human trafficking, Her Excellency recounted the tragic ordeal of a 17-year-old girl, lured with promises of a computer science programme in Dubai, only to face exploitation and abuse in Freetown. She stressed the prevalence of such cases and urged for increased awareness and psychosocial support for victims.

In a call to action, Her Excellency passionately urged mothers to safeguard their children and stressed the importance of unity in tackling this issue, transcending political differences. She announced plans to integrate anti-trafficking messaging into the forthcoming free Sanitary Pads campaign and encouraged school children to watch out for one another.

Concluding her address, Her Excellency implored the government, partners, and stakeholders to generously support the Trust Fund, ensuring targeted assistance for survivors.

In recognition of her unwavering dedication to protecting children from exploitation and abuse, Her Excellency was honoured as the National Anti-Human Trafficking Champion. I’m very proud but humbled at the same time to be named the National Anti-Human Trafficking Champion, she said.

Mrs. Narsu Ndemema, the chairperson of the event, underscored the Trust Fund’s significance as a testament to the government’s commitment to combat human trafficking and safeguard its citizens.

The Hon. Melrose Karminty, Minister of Social Welfare, welcomed attendees and emphasised the initiative’s pivotal role in combating trafficking and providing support to survivors. She reaffirmed the government’s resolve to protect vulnerable groups and ensure freedom from trafficking for all Sierra Leoneans.

Christopher Christodoulies, Country Representative of the International Organisation for Migration, stressed the importance of restoring dignity to survivors and called for increased financial support for the Trust Fund to effectively fulfil its mandate.

 

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