#Headlines

Gambia makes progress in U.S. 2020 Trafficking in Persons Report

Jun 29, 2020, 11:12 AM

The United States Department of State under the watch of Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo last week released the 2020 Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report, upgrading The Gambia to Tier 2 Watch List.

The report notes that the Government of The Gambia is making significant efforts in this important area but is yet to fully meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking.

The United States congratulates the Gambian government, the National Agency Against Trafficking in Persons, law enforcement and justice sector entities, civil society organizations and key partners in the advancements made this past year to combat trafficking. These modest advancements include increased investigations, identifying more trafficking victims, improving security at the Department of Social Welfare shelter, coordinating with international organizations to increase training for officials, and significantly increasing efforts to raise public awareness of trafficking, including of child sex trafficking. In addition, the government encouraged former president Yahya Jammeh’s victims of sexual exploitation to testify at the Truth, Reconciliation, and Reparations Commission. Many of these efforts were facilitated by the International Organization for Migration via a grant from the United States government, with an array of Gambian civil society organizations and international partners playing a vital role in promoting activities to combat trafficking and support victims.

Despite these achievements, the government did not convict prosecute a trafficker for the third consecutive year, victim services remained inadequate overall, and some law enforcement officers allegedly requested bribes to register trafficking complaints.

Under the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act, a country can remain at Tier 2 Watch List for only two years and must address identified deficiencies to progress fully to Tier 2 within that time or be automatically downgraded to Tier 3. The annual rating cycle begins on April 1 and ends on March 31.We encourage the Gambian Government to expand on the good work undertaken over the past year and redouble efforts in the following critical areas: direct and fund law enforcement to investigate all reported trafficking cases, including those brought forward by civil society; investigate those accused of taking bribes to do their duty under the laws of The Gambia; increase efforts to vigorously investigate, prosecute, and convict traffickers, including allegations of child sex tourism; cease using extra-judicial or administrative remedies to resolve human trafficking cases; develop and train government officials on comprehensive standard procedures to proactively identify trafficking victims, including among people in commercial sex and other vulnerable groups.

Human trafficking represents a threat to international peace and security.  It undermines the rule of law, robs millions of their dignity and freedom, enriches transnational criminals and terrorists, and threatens public safety and national security everywhere. The message could not be clearer: addressing human trafficking at home takes willingness to challenge misperceptions of what human trafficking is or is not, and unwavering determination – and accountability – at all levels of governance. The annual Trafficking in Persons publication documents the efforts of the governments of 187 countries and territories, including the United States and The Gambia, to combat human trafficking. Under the U.S. Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act, it is the responsibility of governments to address all forms of human trafficking within their own country and take targeted steps to tackle this serious problem. Neither the United States nor The Gambia are immune from the continued scourge of human exploitation.  It is our sincere desire to continue to partner with the government and the people of The Gambia to ensure that trafficking victims are cared for, and the government of The Gambia uses its rule of law mechanisms to fully enforce Gambian law and bring the perpetrators of such exploitation of human beings to justice.

Read Other Articles In Headlines
Lamin Jah
Life serving prisoner recounts precarious conditions at Mile 2
Jun 12, 2020, 11:46 AM

Lamin Jah alias West, a native of Serrekunda who had been convicted on four counts and sentenced to life imprisonment, yesterday told the TRRC about difficulties and deaths that occurred at Mile 2 (the state central prison).

Tambedu
Women’s Discrimination, Information & Communication Bill 2019 withdrawn
Apr 8, 2020, 2:17 PM

Deputies at the National Assembly on Monday withdrew the Women’s (Amendment of Discrimination laws) Bill, 2019 and the Information and Communication (Amendment) Bill, 2019.

Mai Fatty v3
Mai Fatty calls for end to tribal bigotry
Jun 25, 2020, 12:02 PM

“An attack against any ethnicity is an attack against all. Tribal bigotry and hostility must not be permitted,” Mai Ahmad Fatty, the leader of Gambia Moral Congress told The Point.

Commuters continue diverting Darsilami Checkpoint to enter Gambia
Jun 19, 2020, 12:20 PM

Information has reached to The Point that commuters continue diverting the security checkpoint at Darsilami village in Kombo Central, West Coast Region to get in and out of The Gambia.

barrow 3 d
Barrow assures accountability on covid-19
May 27, 2020, 1:02 PM

President Adama Barrow in his ‘Koriteh’ message to the nation stated that his government takes full responsibility to address the covid-19 pandemic, while assuring the general public of due accountability and transparency to fight covid-19.

Karen Bass
Gambia seeks U.S. Congresswoman Karen Bass’s support for truth, justice in Gambia’s death
Jun 15, 2020, 12:16 PM

The Honourable Minister for Foreign Affairs, International Cooperation and Gambians Abroad, Dr. Mamadou Tangara, solicits support from Congresswoman, Karen Bass. US lawmaker is the chair of the Congressional Black Caucus and also the Africa Subcommittee of the House Foreign Affairs Committee in the United States Congress.

Fatou Mass Jobe
Covid-19: Hospitality, allied sectors grapples with D6.7 billion loss
May 5, 2020, 1:12 PM

As coronavirus epidemic continues to cripple global economies and paralyse businesses, another sector feeling the devastating blow is the hospitality and allied sectors.