30 October 2012

Gambia: U.S. Embassy Holds Press Conference On Child Sexual Abuse

The American embassy on Wednesday held a press conference on child sexual abuse and human trafficking. The conference was held at the American Corner at the Comium building.

Speaking at the press conference, Richard Yoneoka, charge d' affairs at the US embassy, described collaboration as a key to success, before indicating that, to re-enforce the collaboration with The Gambia, United States awarded ChildFund International $400, 000 to protect the children. He said they are confident that Childfund will design a relevant project to help the vulnerable children against this act.

Yoneoka noted that The Gambia has the tool to make significant examples in the area of child protection and intervention against trafficking and exploitation. He further said that The Gambia has also signed international and regional agreements to work with her neighbours to fight against sexual trafficking and exploitation of children.

For her part, Elizabeth Fildes thanked the government of The Gambia, the US embassy and USA Department, for giving her the opportunity to come to The Gambia to teach people about human trafficking. According to her, they have trained law enforcement people so that they know how to deal with this kind of situation, adding that with collaboration they could do anything in solving this matter in The Gambia.

Fildes pointed out that the law enforcement people need all the elements of human trafficking in order to have a human trafficking case that they will understand. She also urged them to work in collaboration so that they can effectively solve this matter in the country, and to always contact the embassy anytime they need assistance.

The regional security officer at the US embassy, Tommy Jones, said they are ready to help The Gambia in stopping this horrible crime against the children.

Eustace Cassell, the national director, ChildFund The Gambia, said Childfund has participated in stopping child abuse in The Gambia, noting that they will identify a grassroots community system that would assist in apprehending cases of child abuse and also to educate people about the danger. He finally thanked Fildes for coming to The Gambia to teach and share knowledge about human trafficking and child sexual abuse.

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