Ghana records upsurge in human trafficking cases – Report

Ghana is recording an upsurge in cases of human trafficking, according to data available to the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection.

According to the data, the number of cases shot up from 587 in 2020 to 831 in 2021, indicating an increase of 244.

Currently, cases under investigation have increased from 87 in 2020 to 108 in 2021, while prosecution cases increased from 13 in 2020 to 22 in 2021.

Minister designate for the Ministry, Lariba Zuweira Abudu, disclosed these saying the Ministry together with the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority had trained 140 civil aviation officers on victim identification and counter trafficking activities to ensure the airports were well-secured and victims were rescued in time.

She was speaking at the opening of a three-day training on human trafficking and irregular migration for law enforcement officers drawn from all regions of the country, in Kumasi.

Among the topics were basic concepts and exploitation of victims of trafficking, child laboUr and commercial sexual exploitation, border response and support for victims of human smuggling and trafficking, money laundering and asset seizure.

The training was aimed at equipping the participants to effectively implement the Human Trafficking Act 2005, Act 694, as well as foster effective collaboration between the various law enforcement agencies.

As a commitment to end human trafficking, she said the Ministry has launched the National Plan of Action, and asked the participants to step up efforts in victim identification and prevention.

“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 underlined.

Human trafficking, she noted, was a security threat and was hopeful authorities could live up to expectation to nib the canker in the bud.

She appreciated the recent interceptions made at the various border points and the rescues undertaken to rescue victims who have successfully been reintegrated back to their communities in Nigeria through the human trafficking fund.

Chief Superintendent Mike Baah, Director, Anti Human Trafficking Unit of the Police, said the police would continue to work with partners to arrest the situation.

He mentioned that plans were far advanced to confiscate the assets of offenders in addition to prosecuting them.

Mr Serge Akpalou from the European Union, said the Union would continue to support government fight the canker.

Assistant Commissioner of Immigration, Charles Yaw Bediako, Ashanti Regional Commander of the Ghana Immigration Service, called on the public to be very curious about issues “and when you see something say something.”

FROM KINGSLEY E.HOPE, KUMASI

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