Mr Emmanuel Kwame Mensah, Project Officer, International Labour Organisation, Ghana, says effective advocacy is key to combatting modern slavery in Ghana.
He said without effective advocacy, there would be little or no change.
Mr Mensah was speaking at an advocacy meeting to combat modern slavery in the country.
He reiterated that if advocacy was well strategized and done properly, it would help eliminate issues under the target 8.7 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) like modern slavery, human trafficking, forced labour
and child labour.
He said currently awareness raising and sensitization on the menace was not enough to eliminate the four issues raised under the target 8.7 of the SDGs.
Mr Mensah said institutional advocacy was also required, where mandated duty bearing and agencies are targeted to ensure they have the capacity to implement the law.
He stressed that there was also the need for a system to measure and monitor the progress of work, change and review progress towards the fight against these acts in Ghana and Africa.
“Mind you the fight against child labour in Ghana and other countries have been relatively over two decades, and according to the last IMF statistics, which was released in August, there are about 27 million people,” he said.
He said, “and so the work that we do as agencies in countries should be well coordinated and well designed, and advocacy is a key aspect of it.”
Mr Mensah stressed that proper strategies, clear concept moves, building on foundational stones gradually, and making the public lead the public advocacy, would lead to change, rather than just raising awareness on shelter.
Chief Superintendent of Police, Mr Mike Baah, Director of Anti-Human Trafficking Unit at the Ghana Police Service, said advocacy was equally important as far as modern slavery and human trafficking were concerned and could influence policy change.
He said advocacy could also encourage people to contribute in terms of finances, resources such as provision of logistics to help fight the menace.
Chief Superintendent Baah said it was not always good arresting without sensitization, which meant that prevention by way of advocacy, protection, prosecution and partnership must work at a time to draw the awareness of individuals, especially those in the child labour-prone areas.
He urged all relevant stakeholders to come on board and contribute to making it a success.
Madam Bashiratu Kamal, the Gender Equality Officer at the General Agriculture Workers’ Union, said the meeting was a platform for partners to deliberate on the strategies to combat the menace.