Convergence on human trafficking, child and forced labour underway


By Tabora Bojang A five-day step down training on human trafficking, child and forced labour opened in Banjul Tuesday. Organised by the National Agency against Trafficking in Persons, (NAATIP) in partnership with the International Labour Organisation, ILO, it is being conducted under a joint EU and Ecowas project titled Support to Free Movement of Persons and Migration in West Africa dubbed (FMM West Africa). It is a step down of a blended training programme implemented by ILO under the FMM West Africa project, in partnership with the ILO-ITC Turinin. Tulai Jawara-Ceesay, the executive director of the Naatip, said her institution’s specific mandate is to prevent, investigate and prosecute cases of trafficking and forge partnerships with relevant institutions in the fight against human trafficking. She said trafficking in persons is the second highest illegal enterprise after drug trafficking, adding that it is a global concern that calls for global collaborative means to eradicate the menace. According to Ms Ceesay, Naatip will continue to work to partner relevant institutions to intensify its actions in the fight and eradication of all forms of child labour, forced labour and trafficking in persons. The event brought together wide range of stakeholders from government and other relevant institutions at a hotel in Kololi. They chart a way towards enhancing the country’s national capacity and understanding in tackling the menace of child trafficking, child and forced labour and migration. Agatha Kolawole, national programme officer, ILO/FMM West Africa Project, Abuja Office, said the training is expected to enhance participants understanding of the current trends in human trafficking, share best practices in the elimination of trafficking in persons, child and forced labour and map out ways to establish or strengthen its coordination. Kalawole said the UN Sustainable Development Goals Agenda 2030 obliges member states to “take immediate and effective measures to eradicate forced labour, end modern slavery and human trafficking and secure the prohibition and elimination of the worst forms of child labour, including recruitment and use of child soldiers by 2025.” While urging participants to make good use of the programme, she echoed the need for a joint collaboration to promote a more coordinated and pro-active intervention in the elimination of these menaces. A senior human rights lawyer, Dr Henry Carroll, said the Gambian constitution explicitly prohibits slavery, child and forced labour. This means children under age 16 must be protected from economic exploitation or any work that may be hazardous or harmful to their education, physical, moral or social development, lawyer Carrol explained.]]>