The ECOWAS Commission in collaboration with the Government of the Republic of Sierra Leone, with the support of the African Programming and Research Initiative to End Slavery (APRIES) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) is organizing the Regional Conference for ECOWAS Member States on Ending Human Trafficking, with the theme: ‘Charting a way forward for deeper cooperation in ECOWAS to end Human Trafficking’, from the 25th to the 26th April, 2023.
The objective of Conference is to share lessons learned in the implementation of the Member States respective TIP Action Plans to improve protection, prevention, prosecution, and partnerships in the fight against TIP and provide a platform for cross learning and agreement on key value-added interventions in enhancing the implementation of the ECOWAS Plan of Action to Combat Trafficking in Persons. The Conference will be opened by His Excellency, Julius Maada Bio, the President of the Republic of Sierra Leone and will be chaired by His Excellency Dr. Mohamed Juldeh Jalloh, the Vice-President of the Republic of Sierra Leone. Ministers responsible for the fight against human trafficking in all 15 Member States and Mauritania are expected as well as the technical focal points for combatting trafficking in persons.
The ECOWAS Delegation shall be led by the President of the Commission, Dr. Omar Alieu Touray and includes the ECOWAS Commissioner for Human Development and Social Affairs, Prof. Fatou Sow Sarr, Director Humanitarian and Social Affairs Dr. Sintiki T. Ugbe, along with key technical staff members.
The Conference will feature a closed-door Ministerial roundtable to finalize the roadmap for the enhanced Combat of Trafficking in Persons in the ECOWAS Region, experience sharing amongst ECOWAS countries on the implementation of their respective TIP action plans and presentation of the Outcomes from the MRU Trafficking in Persons Conference held in Sierra Leone in 2022.
The conference will also consider the following thematic issues towards the elimination of human trafficking in the region: emerging trends in child trafficking and the identification of robust solutions, cyber enabled trafficking and tools to strengthen stakeholders’ responses, role of data in strengthening the response to human trafficking, approaches to survivor legal redress, return, and reintegration amongst others. The Conference shall also feature the Official Launch of the National Referral Mechanism on Victims of Trafficking by the Minister of Social Welfare of Sierra Leone, Madam Baindu Dassama.
The Ministers present at the Conference will adopt the roadmap for the enhanced Combat of Trafficking in Persons in the ECOWAS Region, which will be incorporated into and implemented as a component of the ECOWAS Plan of Action to Combat Trafficking in Persons, especially Women and Children. The roadmap will serve to further enhance the effectiveness of measures already outlined in the ECOWAS Plan of Action to Combat Trafficking in Persons.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).