A total of 285 victims of human trafficking, with nearly half being children between five and 16 years, were last year rescued in the country by the Anti-Human trafficking Unit of the Ghana Police.
They were being trafficked to various parts of the country and the world, by some unscrupulous persons of whom 18 have since been convicted, 13 incarcerated for child labour.
The Director of the unit, Superintendent Mike Baah, disclosed these at the media launch of this year’s 2019 World Day Against Child Labour (WDACL), in Accra, yesterday.
He said last year’s figure was a reduction if compared to the 339 victims, including more than 100 children, rescued the previous year.
Sup Baah said the operations were embarked on with support from some non-governmental organisations in a bid to clamp down on trafficking in the country.
To improve handling of cases involving children, Sup Baah said the service had introduced child friendly policing, to equip all policemen with skills on how to manage cases involving children.
He said residents of human traffic prone areas in Central, Volta and Greater Accra regions were periodically sensitised on the need to help roll back the practice and the sanctions involved if caught.
Sup Baah appealed to citizenry to give information to police to enable them to arrest perpetrators, and cautioned parents against the practice as they had no right to sell off their children.
He called on opinion leaders, journalists and other stakeholders to allow the police to work without undue interferences.
The WDACL, slated for June 12, is commemorated every year to assess progress being made to end the practice and intensify measures, and the Global theme for this year is, ‘Children shouldn’t work in fields but on dreams.’
Ghana, would, however, mark the day on the theme, ‘Consolidating efforts, children must work on dreams not in fields’ at a durbar at Efiduase in the Ashanti Region.
Globally, it is estimated that there are 152 million victims of child labour with almost half of child labour found in Africa.
The Ghana Labour Force Standards Survey (GLSS 6) released in August, 2014, reports that 21.8 per cent, representing 1,982,553 children aged between five and 17 out of more than eight million are engaged in child labour.
BY JONATHAN DONKOR AND ALBERTA BRONI