Speaking during the training, Isatou Dabo, executive director of NAATIP, explained that human trafficking – a form of modern slavery – is the recruitment, transport, transfer of persons using force, fraud or coercion to exploit them for acts of labour or sex.
She also highlighted that according to the International Labour Oragnisation, human trafficking is the fastest growing organised crime with approximately $150 billion in annual profits and 40.3 million individuals trapped in slave-like conditions.
She said that while it’s not compulsory to involve transportation for human trafficking, the transportation industry plays a critical role in combating human trafficking as traffickers often rely on the transportation system to recruit, move or transfer victims for either sex or forced labour.
“Law enforcement offices are equally key stakeholders stationed at every entry and exit point where the victims and in some cases smugglers pass through to get to their destination,” she explained.
“NAATIP continues in its efforts to contain trafficking in persons as mandated by the 2007 TIP Act and just simply doing what is right by its citizens and other nationals who are subjected to being victims and not being allowed to choose who they are, what they wish to become and be free to identify with their true identity.”
Chief Superintendent Lamin Jaiteh of the Gambia Police Force dwelled on the significance of the training, saying human trafficking is very complicated and most of the time done in secret.
He said exposing law enforcement agencies wouldhone their skills and knowledge in the fight against human trafficking.
“As an institution, we believe human trafficking need a wider approach,” he said.“The police alone cannot do it and that’s why all stakeholders need to come onboard. The relevant skills our officers will be exposed to help them in their daily work.”
Dwelling on the commitment of the police in combating trafficking in persons, he continued that when cases are reported, they ensure the matter is taken to court so that the perpetrators are dealt with accordingly.
Ba Lamin Darboe, representative from the Gambia Transport Service Company (GTSC), expressed delight to be invited to such training. He urged the participants to learn in order to understand their role in combating human trafficking.
“We need to know that everyone can be a victim and learning is the most important element for us to understand that this is a very serious offence that we need to fight against,” he stated.