Human RightsNews

Double efforts to end human trafficking, says IJM

Budu reiterated IJM Ghana’s commitment to collaborate with government and other stakeholders to ensure that the new National Plan of Action for the Elimination of Human Trafficking in Ghana is implemented successfully

The West Africa director of International Justice Mission (IJM), Anita Budu, says efforts must be doubled to end human trafficking.

She noted that a research commissioned by IJM Ghana in three fishing districts around Volta Lake in 2022 found that about 38% of the children interviewed were suspected victims of human trafficking and 45% of them suspected victims of exploitative child labour.

Budu stated that the 2022 research showed a decline in the prevalence rate from 58% in 2013. She said, however, that there is more work to be done to reduce it further.

The regional director made the call at a training for stakeholders on trafficking in persons reporting organised by the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection, through the Human Trafficking Secretariat (HTS) and supported by IJM.

The two-day training was aimed at sensitising and reorienting stakeholders on issues of human trafficking and its reporting.

It brought together representatives from law enforcement agencies, the Economic and Organised Crime Office, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration and other government agencies.

Budu noted that the collaborative efforts of stakeholders, over the years, in dealing with human trafficking is yielding positive results.

She said, “This is not a problem anyone can solve alone. We look forward to collaborating with government and other civil society organisations to conduct wider and more in-depth research in the near future to help us gauge the impact of our work in ending human trafficking in Ghana.”

Budu reiterated IJM Ghana’s commitment to collaborate with government and other stakeholders to ensure that the new National Plan of Action for the Elimination of Human Trafficking in Ghana is implemented successfully.

She commended the ministry through the HTS for being proactive in organising the training, which is key in helping the country to report reliable data that will be beneficial in crafting relevant policy interventions.

The head of the HTS, Abena Annobea Asare, said victims of sex trafficking are relatively young: between 15 to 30 years; whereas perpetrators are usually older.

According to the HTS, the number of human trafficking victims in Ghana increased to 831 in 2021, compared to 587 in 2020. However, the number of investigations increased from 87 in 2020 to 108 in 2021.

Asare said human trafficking is intertwined with regular and irregular migration, stressing that most people want to migrate with proper documentation but they are exploited at the destination country through deceit and other characteristics of trafficking.

She stated that previously, more men engaged in irregular migration, however, women are at par with them now. Most of the female perpetrators were victims in the past.

Asare attributed the prevailing cases of human trafficking to poverty, the desire for wealth, growing demand for services of victims in migrant-receiving destinations and the continuous supply of victims from places of origin.

She said human trafficking has a huge negative impact on society, including loss of life, mental health concerns and gender-based violence.

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Source
GNA
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