The “Lebanon Connection” has been identified and Gambian girls who pleaded with authorities for help to be extricated from the servitude they find themselves have gone unanswered. The police in Banjul claimed they cannot intervene in the case because the parents of the girls in Lebanon refuse to cooperate with authorities because they want to protect the identity of the victims – a lame excuse of inaction because influential Gambians, especially Jammeh’s cronies, are key elements of the sex trade network. network.
Gambian boys, the State Department reports, attend Kuranic schools where some corrupt and unscrupulous teachers forces these kids into the streets to beg for money. Gambian children have been identified, according to the report, as victims of forced labor in neighboring countries of Senegal and Ghana.
In downgrading the Gambia to Tier 3, the State Department concluded that The Gambia did not meet the minimum standard for the elimination of trafficking and the regime is not making any “significant effort to do so.” The regime did not provide comprehensive enforcement data resulting in trafficking offenses, something being disputed by the regime. The regime’s prevention efforts have been described as modest during the reporting period which is consistent with the fact during the “Lebanon Connection” cases were in the news involving those closely associated with Jammeh.
Vigorous investigations and prosecution of trafficking offenses, among other measures, must be taken by the Jammeh regime if the downgrade is to be reversed.