A six-day joint capacity building training has opened in Tamale to train a pool of security officers on integrated border management.
The training is a joint operations identification and management of human trafficking cases, and effective management of refugee and asylum related cases.
The training seeks to equip participants with knowledge and other requisite skills in integrated border management, counter-terrorism management, human trafficking and the identification and protection of refugees in line with obligations under the Ghana Refugee Law.
Participants were drawn from the Ghana Immigration Service, Ghana Police Service, Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority, Economic and Organised Crime Office, and the National Investigations Bureau from the Northern, Savannah, Upper West, Upper East and North East Regions.
It is organised by the Human Trafficking Secretariat of the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection (MoGCSP) in collaboration with the European Union, Expertise France, International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD) and the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR).
Madam Sena Owusu-Gibson, Acting Head, Human Trafficking Secretariat of the MoGCSP, who spoke during the opening of the training, said it formed part of the Ministry’s effort to prevent, improve victim protection and increase the prosecution of human traffickers.
Madam Owusu-Gibson said human trafficking was being carried out by organised cartels with complicated modus operandi, which required a holistic approach to effectively tackle in the light of the security threat it posed to the nation as well as global security and peace.
She said since 2021, the Ministry had trained 466 officers under the Expertise France Project, adding in 2022 alone, the Ministry with the support of Expertise France, trained 239 law enforcement officers.
She added that “The Ministry with support from Ghana Civil Aviation Training Academy trained 131 officers made up of cabin crew, pilots, passenger handling staff, ground staff, air traffic controllers, aviation security personnel, law enforcement officers and instructors from the various Aviation Training Organisations on human trafficking and victim identification. This shows the government’s comprehensive approach to fight human trafficking in Ghana.”
Deputy Commissioner of Immigration Dr Prosper Asima, Northern Regional Commander of the Ghana Immigration Service, noted that border management was now about collaboration, saying the training had come at the right time to adequately prepare officers for the task.
Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCOP) Mr Duuti Tuaruka, Northern Regional Police Commander, whose speech was read on his behalf, emphasised the need for strong collaboration among the security agencies to effectively deal with the issues.
Commissioner of Police (COP) Maame Yaa Tiwaa Addo-Danquah, Executive Director of Economic and Organised Crime Office, whose speech was read on her behalf, lauded the training and said it would promote teamwork and sharing of information among the various security agencies to help tackle the issues of human trafficking and migration.
Mr Serge Akpalou, Project Manager at Expertise France, expressed need for the various security agencies participating in the training to work together through information sharing to reduce incidences of human trafficking.
Madam Amala Obiokoye Nwalor, Head of Office, ICMPD, said, “The training this week has the dual aim of building the capacity of the stakeholders and fostering cooperation and collaboration amongst agencies at the operational level. This is in line with ICMPD three-pronged approach of Research, Capacity building and Dialogue.”
She was hopeful that the newly acquired skills would translate into improved joint operations on the ground.