Police to intensify enforcement of child protection laws

The Central Regional Commander of Police, Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCOP), Paul Awini, has said the police will collaborate with civil society organisations, to tackle child labour in the country.

The move, he indicated, formed part of measures adopted by the police in enforcing the laws that protect children against child abuse.

“We have also positioned vigilant police officers on our roads and barriers to detect children, who are being trafficked in vehicles and other means of transportation,” he said.

DCOP Awini said these during a sensitisation durbar on child and human trafficking for about 200 school children in the Cape Coast metropolis of the Central Region.

The event, which was on the theme, ‘Am Aware, you can’t traffic me’ was organised by the Ghana Police Service in collaboration with Engage Now Africa, a non-governmental organisation (NGO).

It attracted school children from Catholic Jubilee School, St Mary’s Anglican School, Eyifua, Police Basic School, Jacob Wilson Sey Basic School and Christ Church Anglican School.

DCOP Awini said the programme was aimed at educating children on the menace of child trafficking because they stood the greater risk of being trafficked.

He said, reports available to the police indicate that children from the Central Region were mostly trafficked to Yeji in the Brong-Ahafo Region and other sections of the Volta Lake during holidays.

He advised children to report any suspected case of child abuse or trafficking to their parents, a teacher or the nearest police station for the necessary action.

The Country Director of the NGO, Mr. David Kofi Awusi, urged the government to intensify its war against child trafficking.

He said that statistics from the Coalition of NGOs Against Child Trafficking (CNACT), indicate that 57.6 per cent of children working at the southern portion of the Volta Lake were trafficked into forced labour.

Mr.Awusi said that the high prevalence of modern slavery required urgent and pragmatic measures because it could destroy the human capital base.

He explained that ENA sought to eradicate all forms of slavery and child trafficking in the country, saying, “As part of our activities we are sensitising both parents and children on the negative impact of child trafficking.”

Mr Awusi said: “The fight against child trafficking is not a one-sided affair, and for the fight against it to be won, both parents and children must be educated on the harm child trafficking causes and how it can be prevented.”

DAVID O. YARBOI-TETTEH, CAPE COAST

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