On April 25, Ambassador-at-Large to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons, Cindy Dyer, will deliver pre-recorded remarks to the Regional Conference of Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) at the Freetown International Conference Centre in Aberdeen, Freetown, Sierra Leone.
The African Programming and Research Initiative to End Slavery (APRIES) at the University of Georgia, funded by the TIP Office’s Program to End Modern Slavery, is supporting the Government of Sierra Leone to host a regional anti-trafficking conference of ECOWAS Member States. The conference aims to enhance regional and global partnerships that will strengthen initiatives to support anti-trafficking efforts in the region. The Program to End Modern Slavery aims to reduce the prevalence of human trafficking including forced labor. Priorities set at the conference will deepen the region’s ability to further support data-driven programming. At the end of the two-day conference, a roadmap will be developed to set anti-trafficking priorities for the region – such as sharing lessons learned and strategies to implement national action plans, promote stronger data collection mechanisms, and find opportunities for regional mechanisms to protect trafficking victims, prevent the crime from occurring, and prosecute traffickers. The roadmap will also support ECOWAS’ revised human trafficking action plan to be developed later this summer.
Notable Participants include:
United States: U.S. Chargé d’Affaires Stephanie Bunce, Embassy Freetown; Deputy Senior Coordinator for International Programs Mark Forstrom, Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons.
ECOWAS Member States and Secretariat: President of Sierra Leone Julius Maada Bio; Vice President of Sierra Leone Dr. Juldeh Jalloh; President of the Republic of Guinea-Bissau and Chairman of ECOWAS Umaro Sissoco Embaló; President of the ECOWAS Commission Omar Alieu Touray; and Director of the African Programming and Research Initiative to End Slavery Dr. David Okech.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of U.S. Department of State.