Liberia through the Ministry of Labor has ordered officials of the Global Affairs of the Republic of Oman to immediately halt the issuance of visas to Liberians wanting to travel to that country for domestic work.
This move follows the repatriation of several Liberian girls who have suffered inhumane treatment in the Asian Republic of Oman.
Liberian Labor Minister Cllr. Charles Gibson addressed a cross-section Global Affairs officials via zoom Tuesday, 30 August 2022
Cllr. Gibson stated clearly that the Government of Liberia is receiving a report from Oman regarding the inhumane treatment meted out against some Liberian girls.
He said those girls were trafficked to Oman, describing their treatment as worrisome.
He urged the Oman government to immediately stop its visa issuance to Liberians.
Minister Gibson outlined three points that need to be addressed by Oman, informing the Global Affairs Department that Liberian females who are illegally residing in that country are living in complete slavery.
He noted that this situation amounts to human trafficking.
“We want you to halt all visa granting processes for females from Liberia, especially those wanting to go for domestic work purposes,” said Minister Gibson.
He added that the Government of Liberia is not concerned about issues that have to do with supporting both countries, but the issue regarding the inhumane treatment meted out against Liberian citizens in Oman is far more important than anything.
He said Liberia has made three note verbale requesting visa entry for key Liberian government officials including Foreign Minister, Justice, Labor and Gender Ministers to sit with their counterparts in Oman, discuss and put things under control, including trafficking of girls.
“If You as head of the Global Affairs Department of Oman can’t respond to that note verbale, then we can’t negotiate, and sign any MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) via zoom,” said Minister Gibson.
He added that it was important for Oman’s Foreign Ministry to give Liberia a courtesy by responding to the request to allow Liberian officials to fly in and have a discussion.
According to Cllr. Gibson, the Government of Liberia is not only listening to media reports as was said by the Global Affairs Department officials.
Instead, Cllr. Gibson noted that Liberia has been receiving WhatsApp messages and videos from the girls themselves showing graphically the inhumane treatment they have been through.
He said some of the girls were putting into solitary confinement, some raped, and brutalized by their host, terming the acts as very unacceptable.
He detailed that the girls were hosted in safe homes for years, where they received proper treatment, including the prosecution of their perpetrators.
It can be recalled that Minister Gibson reported that the Government of Liberia made available US$50,000 to repatriate Liberians who were reportedly trafficked to Cyprus, Oman, and Dubai under the pretext of furthering their education.
Minister Gibson said the first batch of trafficked students included three females from Oman.
For his part, Mr. Hudmaid Al Maani, Head of International Affairs Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Oman, welcomed Liberia’s request to immediately halt the issuance of visas to Liberians wanting to travel to Oman for domestic purposes.
“I want to assure you that whatever you have mentioned we do care about it and we will look into it,” he said.
Mr. Al Maani said it’s important for the Government of Liberia to understand that whatever information it gathered is not true, saying Oman is always ready to look into whatever report that will be provided.