Stakeholders in both internal and external migration has reaffirmed their commitment to increase protection and promotion for Ghanaian migrant workers.
They pledged to ensure greater protection of the citizens against exploitation and abuse and to strengthen the provision of direct assistance and integration to victims.
That, they said, they would do through developing standard operating procedures to strengthen the process of assisting victims of such exploitation, from the moment of identification through return and reintegration.
This was announced at day’s worship organised by International Organisation for Migration (IOM) in Accra for Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) with direct mandate on both domestic and international migration to mark this year’s celebration.
It is also to deliberate on how to step up coordination of efforts to increase protection for migrant workers.
The MDAs are Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration; the Interior; Employment and Labour Relations; Gender, Children and Social Protection, Ghana Immigration Service, Ghana Police Service.
Mr Sammy Longman Attakuma, the Chief Director of Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations, who read the joint statement on behalf of other stakeholders, said they would also develop information sharing protocols to well inform stakeholders to enable them contribute to the protection of migrants as well as ensure their rights and that of their families.
He said: “We also intend to negotiate additional bilateral agreements as needed with key receiving countries, to facilitate humane and orderly labour migration and decent work for all.
“Strengthen access to information for potential migrants in Ghana and contribute to their ability to make informed decisions by improving the capacity of institutional structures to serve as one-stop migrant workers’ resource centres.
“Improve access and availability of training and pre-departure orientation opportunities, to increase knowledge amongst potential migrants on issues if job training, adjusting to a new culture, cultural sensitivities in the country of destination, their rights, among others,” he added.
Mr Attakuma said they would enhance the law enforcement response including the closure, investigation and prosecution of illegal recruitment agencies and individuals who facilitate the recruitment and trafficking for domestic work if Ghanaian migrants.
Ghanaian migrants, particularly women and young girls are increasingly recruited through licensed and unlicensed recruitment agencies for domestic work in various countries.
According to information collected by the Ghana Immigration Service, more than 2000 Ghanaians women departed for work in the Middle East between September 2014 and January 2015.
Since then about 350 women have returned, reporting exploitation and abuse.
Ms Sylvia Lopez-Ekra, Chief of Mission, IOM blamed the plights of these women of fraudulent advertisements for jobs opportunities in various countries including the Middle East.
She said these advertisements were now common in the streets of Ghana as well as on social media channels, such Facebook and WhatsApp and expressed the need to take various measures to address those challenges to protect Ghanaian migrants.
She said it was fair for IOM and the Foreign Ministry to organise to bring back the migrants any time there was a problem, yet the perpetrators of the illegal act- illegal recruiting agencies- are left unpunished.
December 14 every year, is recognised by the UN as International Migration Day to remember and identify the challenges of migrant workers as well as their contributions to national development in terms of remittances to the families.