Ghana has intensified the fight against human trafficking, to avoid a further downgrade regarding the negative practice, on the international watchlist.
Consequently, the country has set up a coordination team, and increasing existing monitoring systems, to block all loopholes, to make human trafficking unattractive for persons practicing it.
The Minister of the Interior, Mr. Douglas Prosper Bani, in an interview with The Ghanaian Times in Accra, said the country’s commitment to eliminating human trafficking, included the stationing of the anti-human trafficking unit of the Ghana Police Service at the Kotoka International Airport, to check the practice.
Ghana, in the latest monitoring of human trafficking by the State Department of the US, has been downgraded from a tier two category to a tier two watch list category, the minister disclosed.
The assessment by the US State Department, Mr Bani said, was not a fair reflection of efforts by governments to end human trafficking, but explained that it was due to the lack of co-ordination and proper documentation.
He said to forestall this, an inter-ministerial committee, made up of the ministries of the Interior, Attorney General, Labour and Employment, Foreign Affairs and Gender and Social Protection, has been tasked to coordinate the gains being by the country in curbing the practice.
“As a result of the formation of the inter-ministerial committee, we are very confident that we would report adequately to get us out of the tier two watch list to tier two or tier one,” Mr Bani said.
He said the committee is expected to publish a draft report by next October to be followed by the submission of a final report in January next year.
“Human trafficking, especially to the gulf region, where young people, including girls, are made to engage in prostitution and other forms of abuses, is becoming a challenge, but government is committed to ending the practice”, Mr Bani stressed.
“The reason why we are intensifying the fight against human trafficking is that, the children (the target of traffickers), are the future of this country, and we need to protect them from all abuses,” he explained.
The level of outflow of young ladies from Ghana, through the airport, to the gulf region, according to the minister, is alarming.
The minister said apart from the imminent deployment of the anti-trafficking unit of the police at the airport, government was embarking on a project to safeguard both the land and sea borders against human traficking.
Mr. Bani, who chairs the inter-ministerial committee, warned that any person caught for attempting or engaging in human trafficking would be dealt with according to the law, and urged the public to support the security agencies in the fight against crime.
By Julius Yao Petetsi