Minister condemns high number of children working as porters

Deputy Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Dr Ziblim Barri Iddi has expressed displeasure about the high prevalent rate of children working as porters in the country.

 

He said research indicates that more than 30,000 children were believed to be working as porters (kayaye) which he described as worrying.

 

The Deputy Minister expressed the sentiment on Friday in Accra at the Dubois-Nkrumah-Padmore Memorial lecture on the theme: ‘Social Justice and the Return of the Global Slave Trade – Are We for Sale’ organised by the W.E.B. Du Bois Centre.

 

Dr Iddi said annually the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) reported numerous deaths of trafficked children for hazardous forced labour on the Lake Volta.

 

“Girls are trafficked within the country for domestic servitude and sexual exploitation whilst children are trafficked from Cote d’Ivoire, Togo, Nigeria, The Gambia, Burkina Faso and Gabon to Western Europe for some individual selfish interest.

 

“Government is increasing bilateral engagement with countries where the vulnerable are exploited and trafficked and will increase law enforcement cooperation by establishing joint investigation teams, greater intelligence sharing to tackle crime and bring perpetrators to justice.

 

“We are also working with international law enforcement agencies to improve international operation response, using all diplomatic channels available to confront and address the menace.

 

“There is the need for collaborative efforts by all stakeholders to fight and conquer the menace once and for all,” Dr Iddi stressed.

 

The Acting Executive Director of Du Bois Memorial Centre, Mr Constant Gladzah said the United Nations Labour Organisation estimated that at least 21 million people worldwide were in some form of slavery.

 

He said research has indicated a possible return of global slavery, hence, the need for stakeholders to institute productive measures to curb the issue of slavery in the country.

 

A lecturer and researcher at the Institute of African Studies, University of Ghana Dr Mjiba Frehiwot called African leaders to provide economic opportunity in the continent for the youth to prevent them from travelling to seek greener pastures in foreign lands.

BY BERNARD BENGHAN & DAVID NYANOR TAKYI

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