Four Nigerians were last week sentenced to jail terms ranging between five and seven years, for engaging in human trafficking.
The convicts, a man and three women, were prosecuted by the Anti-Human Trafficking Unit of the Ghana Police Service
The Caretaker Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection, Cecilia Abena Dapaah, announced these at the opening of a day’s training workshop on human trafficking for Aviation staff, in Accra, yesterday.
The minister in a speech read on her behalf, therefore, called on Ghanaians to be vigilant and report all suspected cases of human trafficking to the police or any security agency for immediate action.
Ms Dapaah said there was evidence of cross boarder human trafficking in Ghana, especially for labour and sexual exploitation.
Ghana, she noted, was “classified as a receiving, transit and a sending country with the country’s borders used for such entry and exit.”
Ms Dapaah said human trafficking agents used the Airport to ply their trade, sometimes aided by some officers knowingly and unknowingly, to conduct their criminal activity, hence the need to train stakeholders at the airport on their roles in helping to fight the menace.
She said training for aviation staff was in fulfilment of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) Standards and Recommended Practices (SARP), to reduce the use of the Airport as entry, exit and transit points for victims of human trafficking.
The training, Ms Dapaah said, was part of efforts to keep stakeholders constantly informed on the dangers associated with human trafficking.
“This will help the public gain a better understanding of the complex issues of human trafficking and irregular migration to improve the detections, investigations, and prosecution of suspected human traffickers and smugglers,” she added.
Ms Dapaah said it would also help build the capacity of officers to increase victim identification, support and prevent human trafficking and ensure effective collaboration and partnership between security agencies, the aviation authorities, and other officials, to combat human trafficking.
Fred Adom Obeng, Deputy Minister of Transport, expressed worry that aviation industry had been one of the transportation modes for trafficking, particularly women and children.
He noted that it was time safety and security in the aviation sector was enhanced to help fight the canker.
Director General of the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA), Charles Kraikue, said a common, unified and collaborative approach amongst key stakeholders was needed to effectively stop human trafficking.
To get all aviation personnel on board the fight against human trafficking, he said the GCAA would ensure training and guidance for employees, specifically to raise awareness on human trafficking.
BY CLAUDE NYARKO ADAMS