Human Trafficking: A genuine Risk to National Advancement

Human -Trafficking : A serious Threat To National Development

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Human trafficking has been Identified as the largest heinous trade in the world after drugs which has a serious crippling effect on national development.

human trafficking
human trafficking
According to the UNODC report on human trafficking compiled in 155 countries , the report indicates that the most common purpose for human trafficking is for sexual exploitation globally followed by forced labor and others.

More so, it crystal clear that, Ghana is a source, transit and a destination country for victims of trafficking who are subjected to forced labor and sexual exploitation.

Children are being exploited within the country in fishing , domestic service, street hawking , begging , portering (Kayayei) , illegal mining – ‘galamsey’ , stone quarrying and cattle herding.

In an interview with the Acting Executive Secretary ,Human Trafficking Secretariat Victoria Natsu after the launching of UN Day Against Human Trafficking (Blue Day) in Accra, she noted that there is no country immune to human trafficking and its related activities since it is an organized crime.

“As stakeholders , we need to come together and fight this canker eating the fabric of our society , hence the theme: Let us Unite to end Human Trafficking : for it is real”, she emphasized.

According to her, after the adoption of the human Trafficking protocol to prevent , suppress and punish trafficking of persons especially women and children , Ghana has domesticated the law since.

Ghana has been ranked in Tier 2 watch list , sending a signal that Ghana should improve in all areas of prevention, protection , prosecution and partnership to combat trafficking in a decisive manner.

This she said it in this regard, the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection had developed a number of policies, including the Gender Policy, Child and Family Welfare Policy, Social Protection Policy and the Aged Bill to protect women, children and the vulnerable.

Government has also embraced a number initiatives to reduce poverty , which is the root causes to human trafficking.

The LEAP Programme is one of the interventions that works towards reducing extreme poverty in poor households through cash transfer.

According to her, the government is also stepping up national effort to tackle this menace through awareness raising and capacity building for stakeholders and the public in order to deepen their understanding on the complex issues of trafficking in persons and irregular migration.

In a statement read on behalf of the Country Representative of UNICEF in Ghana, Emelia Allan, Child Protection Specialist, UNICEF, stated that ILO 2005 report estimated 1.2 million annual cases of child trafficking . Although figures on the subject is not easily available in Ghana , some estimates that children form more than 60% of persons affected.

According to her, human trafficking retards a nation’s development as it promotes criminal conduct and corruption, and also undermine human resource development.

Ms Lalaina Razafindrakoto, Representative of the International Labour Organization (ILO) in Ghana, in her remarks, reaffirmed ILO’s willingness to support Ghana’s co-ordinated actions in tackling human trafficking.

Mr Alexander Billings, CPC Project Manager, International Organization for Migration, noted that last year, the Government of Ghana and the US government signed a five-year Child Protection Compact to address child trafficking within Ghana.
He indicated that within the framework of the CPC, government was being supported to establish relevant standard operating procedures to ensure a proactive and appropriate response to suspected cases of trafficking.

However, since December 2002, International Organization for Migration -Ghana has been working with the Government of Ghana , communities and local partners to counter human trafficking within the country. IOM Ghana focuses n four key principles : Prevention , Protection ,Prosecution and Partnership.

By: Isaac Kofi Dzokpo/NewsGhana.com.Gh

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