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Monday, October 2, 2023

Naatip calls for support in fight against human trafficking


By Amadou Jadama

The executive director of the National Agency Against Trafficking in Persons (NAATIP) has called on the government, international community, and civil society to join the fight against human trafficking.

Speaking at the commemoration of the World Day Against Trafficking in Person, which coincided with the launch of the Blue Heart Campaign held at Ocean Bay Hotel, Isatou Darboe called on the government to allocate more funds to the agency.

Organised under the theme “Reach every victim of trafficking and leave no one behind”, the commemoration focused on challenges facing the agency and how they could be tackled.

Ms Darboe said human trafficking is a deplorable crime that inflicts immeasurable pain and suffering on victims.

“It thrives in the shadows of their vulnerability and exploits their desperation for a better life; it knows no boundaries and affects individuals of all ages, genders, and backgrounds,” she said.

She said Naatip doesn’t have the capacity to fight the menace of trafficking all alone.

“We cannot achieve lasting change alone”.

“We need the collective efforts of government bodies, civil society organisations, law enforcement agencies, international organisations, and every concerned citizen to join hands with us,” she appealed.

She said the fight against human trafficking is not getting any easier.

The former magistrate described the commemoration as a significant moment in the fight against trafficking.

“Through strategic partnerships, relentless advocacy, and comprehensive action, we will be able to drastically reduce this heinous human rights violation,” she added.

She said there is “a need to adopt a victim-centred approach in all aspects of the fight against trafficking in persons”.

“It is high time that policies are acted upon to amplify the voices of the victims, and stakeholders should coordinate efforts to ensure better protection measures for victims of trafficking,” Ms Darboe said.

Commenting on the Blue Heart Campaign, Director Darboe said the campaign is meant to create a ripple effect by focusing on sensitisation through television and radio shows on the effects of trafficking.

“The launch of the Blue Heart Campaign signifies our unwavering commitment to eradicating human trafficking and providing justice to victims.”

“It symbolises our determination to create a world where no person is subjected to the brutality of modern-day slavery,” she said.

Seraphine Wakana, the UN resident coordinator in The Gambia, said human trafficking is “a serious crime that involves a number of human rights violations”.

“Every year, thousands of men, women, and children fall into the hands of traffickers, and all countries are affected by human trafficking, whether as countries of origin, transit, or destination of the victims,” she said.

She said human trafficking is a complex issue that requires a multidisciplinary approach.

“For this reason, the UN is strongly committed to engaging and strengthening cooperation with various actors.

“We wish to reaffirm our firm commitment and support to the government of The Gambia in the fight against this heinous crime,” she said.

Amie Jobe, a survivor of human trafficking, called on stakeholders to redouble their efforts in the fight against trafficking.

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