Mr Jérémie Pellet, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Expertise France, has called for effective coordination and training of stakeholders to combat human trafficking.
He underscored the need for the development of common synergies in the construction of a human, economic and security environment that protected the population efficiently.
Mr Pellet made the call at the commissioning of the refurbished Human Trafficking Secretariat and Trauma Informed Care Centre in Accra to complement the psycho social needs of victims.
The refurbished Secretariat and Centre are to provide timely and comprehensive care for victims of human trafficking, including counselling services, improved monitoring services and vocational skills.
In 2019, Expertise France obtained funding of 18 million Euros from the European Union (EU) and France for the implementation of the Regional Project to support the fight against human trafficking in Benin, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Guinea, Nigeria and Togo for a period of 4 years.
Mr Pellet noted that the collective commitment in the fight against human trafficking was a strategic priority for the entire sub-region experiencing difficulties due to the global health situation, terrorist threats, organised crime and irregular migration, often with dramatic consequences.
He said the West African region was characterised by a pattern of cross-border and circular trafficking and that 75 per cent of the its migratory movements was within the region, but the focus in Europe on migration was towards Europe.
The CEO called for urgent improvement of regional cooperation efforts because the economic and security contexts at regional level, climate change and community conflicts pushed part of the population to seek greener pastures.
‘‘Today, we will also officially sign a MoU that will sanction what has been an essential element from the beginning, that is, our frank and fruitful cooperation. This is a solemn moment we welcome with obvious pride,’’ he said.
Mr Irchad Ramiandrasoa Razaaly, EU Ambassador to Ghana, said human trafficking generated approximately 30 billion euros annually and was the third most widespread form of trafficking in the world, with drug trafficking and arms trafficking.
Every year, he said, 2.5 million people, mainly women and children were victims of trafficking.
‘‘On average, for every victims of trafficking, five are women and two are girls,” he said.
The EU Ambassador expressed the Union’s worry about the phenomenon because it deprived women and children of living their lives, dreams and future.
Mr Razaaly urged all stakeholders to commit themselves to prevent trafficking from creating new victims and to prevent vulnerable people fromnbeing trafficked.
He assured the Ministry of EU’s commitment to support the Government in the fight against the menace.
Expertise France is the French Government’s agency for international technical expertise and actor of its aid and policy cooperation and development.
Mrs Lariba Zuwiera Abudu, Deputy Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection, noted that despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ministry through the Human Trafficking Secretariat, the Board and key stakeholders had worked assiduously to counter human trafficking.
However, she said, there were many issues of human trafficking to be tackled, hence, the partnership would be instrumental in reducing the incidence, strengthen government institutions and increase public knowledge on the issues.