Ghana as a country now has an adult shelter equipped to receive female victims of human trafficking.
It is obvious that, Ghana has been a source, transit and destination country for men, women and children who are trafficked and subjected to forced labour and sexual exploitation.
However, the government of Ghana worked assiduously to improve its rating on the TIP report for 2018 through a number of efforts to meet the recommendations made in the 2017 TIP Resort. Some of the activities embarked on included the following:
• Development, printing and dissemination of the Human Trafficking National Plan.
• Training and capacity building for law enforcement officials.
• The renovation and furnishing of the children shelter which will also be operational soon and securing and adult shelter.
The establishment of the Human Trafficking Fund with an amount of Five Hundred Thousand Ghana Cedis (GH¢500,000.00) deposited into it by the government for anti – human trafficking activities.
In an interview with the Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection (MOGCSP) Hon. Cynthia Mamle Morrison, she noted that institutional mechanisms to combat human trafficking were strengthened and equipped.
This she said, led to various rescue of victims and Prosecution of offenders. According to her, in 2017, the Ministry in collaboration with the Anti-Human Trafficking Unit of the Criminal Investigations Department under the Ghana Police Service, rescued 229 victims while the Anti-Human smuggling and Trafficking in Persons Unit under the Ghana Immigration Services rescued 216 victims.
In 2018, both institutions have rescued 341 victims (GPS 56 and GPS 285), out of this number 95 are adults and the rest children. Ghana also gained 3 convictions in Human Trafficking, 2 in child Labour offenses in 2017.
Adding that, there have been significant improvement in convictions for 2018 since Ghana gained 6 convictions for human trafficking and 13 convictions for child Labour and 12 for other related offenses.
“The key challenge however is getting adult victims to testify during Prosecutions since there were no safe places to keep them, hindering more convictions taking into account the number of rescues and the number of suspects arrested.
Victim protection after rescue is very critical to enable them be stabilized and attain effective rehabilitation and also enhance the protection processes for more convictions,” she explained.
She therefore, encouraged the general public to report any form of abuse to the security agencies to help reduce crime in the country.
However, she commended President H. E. Nana Addo Dankwa Addo for all his support and resources provided to the Ministry and that matter the Human Trafficking Fund to undertake the activities in renovating and furnishing the government section of the children shelter. And the State Adult Shelter to implement the HTC NPA.
“To the Human Trafficking Management Board and the staff of the Ministry for supporting the refurbishment and procuring the items for the Adult Shelter .
The Ministry wishes to to express our sincere appreciation to the US Embassy for strengthening Ghana’s drive in the fight against human trafficking through the continues implementation of the Child Protection Compact Agreement bring rolled out by the International Organization for Migration and Free The Slaves,” she applauded.
Source: Isaac Kofi Dzokpo/newsghana.com.gh