An estimated 244 million people representing 3.3 per cent of the world’s populations live outside their country of origin.
It is obvious that Ghana as a country has a porous borders. As a result of this, there has been an increase in both the smuggling of migrants and the trafficking of foreign nationals for forced labour and sexual exploitation .
Information collected by the Ghana Immigration Services (GIS), over 2,000 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.
More so, fraudulent advertisement for job opportunities in various countries including the Middle East are now common in the streets of Ghana as well as on social media channels, such as Facebook and Whatsapp.
Recognizing the challenges arising as a result of the increasing migration for domestic work, seven Ministries , Department and Agencies and International Organization for Migration (IOM) has taken a giant step by increasing awareness on the menace.
And also, pledging commitment to respond swiftly to international trafficking and exploitation of Ghanaians for domestic works.
It is in regard, a day workshop was held in Accra under theme: “Protecting Migrants at Home and Abroad”.
According to Mr Sammy-Longman Attakumah, Chief Director of the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations, who red the a joint statement on behalf of the agencies noted that they have pledged to ensure protection of their citizens against exploitation and abuse.
This he said, they will also strengthen the provision of direct assistance and reintegration to victims by making the following commitments:
Develop Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) to strengthen the process of assisting victims of such exploitation, from the moment identification through return and reintegration where applicable.
Develop information sharing protocols so that all relevant stakeholders are well informed and are able to contribute to the protection of migrants and ensure their rights and those of their families.
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 take informed decisions by improving the capacity of institutional structures (MIC/MIB) to serve as a one- stop migrant workers’ resource centres.
Others are; Improving access and availability of training and pre-departure orientation opportunities , to increase knowledge among potential migrants on issues of job training , adjusting to a new culture , cultural sensitivities in the country of destination and their rights .
The rest are ; Enhancing the law enforcement response including the closure , investigation and prosecution of illegal recruitment agencies and individuals who facilitates the recruitment and trafficking for domestic work of Ghanaian migrants.
However, Mr Sammy-Longman Attakumah,, entreated all civil society organizations , communities and development partners to come together to help uphold the rights of migrants especially women trafficked for domestic work.
According to him , by working together they will swiftly reverse the concerning trend in order to ensure that migration remans mostly a safe and empowering experience for Ghanaians .
By: Isaac Kofi Dzokpo/NewsGhana.com.Gh