A Former Gender, Children and Social Protection Minister has appealed to government to establish shelters in all regions to house victims of Gender based violence and human trafficking.
Nana Oye Bampoe Addo who made the call noted that Greater Accra Region had a few shelters, but the regions lacked them.
“Government should devote more resources in establishing shelters for victims. We need shelters in every region. I am hoping that by now the Ghana Police, Department of Social Welfare, Ministries of the Interior and Gender and Social Protection would have mapped out hot spots of cases rape and defilement.”
Nana Oye said it would be proper for ICT-based methods to focus on areas such as Teshie and Chorkor geographic locations and roll out more education, prevention, and protection of victims and prosecution of those crimes.
The former Minister said these when she launched Operation Underground RailRoad (OUR) Ghana at a ceremony in Accra.
In the late year 2022, Abuse Relief Corps (ARC) Ghana emerged with OUR Ghana to rescue women and children from trafficking and sexual exploitation.
OUR does so by supporting law enforcement and other government agencies through the transfer of equipment and knowledge as well as support to Civil Society Organisations to provide quality aftercare support to survivors of trafficking and sexual exploitation.
The officials of OUR Ghana were also used occasion to present 10 laptops worth GHC90,000 to the Anti Trafficking Unit of the Ghana Police Service.
Nana Oye said she was elated to see an increase in conviction cases of Gender Based Violence and Trafficking adding in the year 2012 conviction cases was 0.60 per cent but with OUR Ghana has secured 30 per cent in conviction cases.
“I am happy that the Girl Child Education Directorate of the Ghana Education Service had increased sensitization for girls. OUR Ghana too has now added the teaching of self-defence. This I think is innovative.”
Ex-Gender, Children and Social Protection Minister appealed to stakeholders to address emotional and economic abuse facing women in the country.
According to her traditional and cultural abuse should be tackled to prevent old women being accused of witchcraft.
Mr Fred Akweter Country Manager OUR Ghana, said the merger would provide them the opportunity to expand their capacity and resources in helping sexual abuse and trafficked victims in Ghana.
According to him the merger would also help OUR Ghana to provide the Ghana Police Service in busting child trafficking syndicates in Ghana.
He said government was doing its part in fight human trafficking and sexual abuse, but there was more room for improvement.
Mr David Jacobs, Chief Global Operation Manager, OUR, recounted how his organisation has been providing prosecutorial training to law enforcement agencies saying his organisation was honoured to serve the people of Ghana.
Mr Jacobs was optimistic that programmes rolled out by his organisation that would impact on the lives of children and women in the country.
Robyn Jesse Ern, founder of Abuse Relief Corps (ARS) recalled that despite successes chalked by ARS, its biggest challenge was funding as was therefore elated that OUR has merged with ARS change the narratives of human trafficking and gender-based violence.
OUR exists to rescue children from sex trafficking and sexual exploitation. It is a non-governmental organisation which quickly responds to foreign government requests and institute investigative measures, develops intelligence, and assists in enforcement operation and rescue efforts.
OUR Ghana presented a gift to Robyn Jesse Ern for his immersed role in the fight against human trafficking and sexual abuse.