Judges have been urged to support government in fighting human trafficking in all its forms by expediting action on cases brought to the courts.
According to the Director of Justice Training Institute (JTI), Justice Dennis Dominic Adjei, many people have resorted to selling women and children in particular and these “serious crimes are seriously going on against fundamental human rights.”
“What do we do as judges, how do we entertain these matters when they are brought before us,” he queried and stressed the need for such cases to be dealt with the speed they deserved.
He was addressing District and Circuit Court Judges on Human Trafficking and Trauma Informed Judicial Practices at the opening of a three day training.
They were selected from human trafficking prone areas in the country, for workshop.
It was organised by the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection in collaboration with the JTI and Expertise France.
He emphasised on fundamental human rights which he explained, as inalienable right (rights given us by nature) “but some people have decided to take it away and continue to take it away from some people.”
He told the participants that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights takes about freedom of movement such that one’s right should not be subjected to slavery and servitude.
The Director was worried that human trafficking has become a modern form of slavery and servitude and stressed the need to deal with it.
Touching on Section 56 of the Courts Act, Act 459,he underlined that human trafficking was a universal crime and that the courts in Ghana have the jurisdiction to deal with such cases from anywhere in the world.
Head of Human Trafficking at the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection, SenaOwusu Gibson, also spoke about delays at the courts to deal with human trafficking cases.
She viewed that if the courts would expedite actions on the cases it would definitely reduce the canker as it wound serve as deterrent.
Ms Gibson noted that human trafficking issues were really a concern to Ghana with victims mostly children and women.
She said the judiciary had the mandate to resolve legal conflicts according to the law impartially hence, the need for them to speed up cases.
Mr Serge Akpalou, Project Manager, Expertise France, mentioned that every year human trafficking generated approximately € 30 billion and it was the third most widespread form of trafficking in the world after drug and arms trafficking.
He noted that about 2.5 million people, mainly women and children, annually fell under the influence of traffickers”and Ghana is no exception to this practice.”
He called on all and sundry, to be committed to prevent trafficking from creating new victims, and to prevent vulnerable people from falling into the traps of traffickers.
Among topics treated included Understanding Human Trafficking: Basic Concepts and Legal Framework; Elements of Human Trafficking, Offences and Current Trends; Understanding Trauma and Its Impact on Victims; Trauma Informed Court Processes; Migrant Smuggling and Human Trafficking, Pleas Bargaining and Sentencing Guidelines.
FROM KINGSLEY E.HOPE, KUMASI