July 25, 2023 12:35 pm

Ghana is hosting the 15th ANNUAL ECOWAS Review Meeting for Trafficking In Person – TIP focal persons from Monday, 24th July to Wednesday 26th July 2023, in Accra.

In 2007, the Network of National TIP Focal Institutions in the Member States, and the Annual Review of Implementation of the ECOWAS Plans of Action to Combat Trafficking were instituted by the Ecowas – Cedeao TIP Programme.

The Annual Meeting for 2023 is being held to review implementation of actions over the period of 2021 & 2022. It will also focus on consolidating the works already ongoing on the TIP Plus approach, with Working Groups held on the Regional Crime against Persons Protection Policy (RCAPPP).

The meeting will also deliberate on the feedback and validation of the Regional Referral Mechanism (RRM) document, aimed at strengthening current regional referral frameworks.

Addressing the participants on behalf of the Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection, Hon Lariba Zuweira Abudu, the Deputy Minister for MoGCSP, Hon. Francisca-Oteng Mensah stressed on the need to create shelters to relocate victims on human trafficking and its related crimes.

“It is important to be concerned with the course of actions taken to ensure the safety and survival of rescued victims of trafficking within our sub region. A challenge in Ghana and I believe across the regions is inadequate shelters to accommodate the victims of human trafficking and other related crimes” she stated.

The Deputy Minister also called for the promotion of safe and orderly migration and encouraged participants to share their experiences on victim support for persons affected by Human Trafficking.

This annual flagship event is based on annual reporting by Member States (MSs) and comprises a peer review mechanism.

Among other objectives, the review meeting seeks to:

• Provide feedback and validate the draft Regional Referral Mechanism and the Regional Crimes against against the Person Prevention Policy.

• Provide the ECOWAS Commission with data for further tracking of actions and improvements in counter trafficking programming in Member States and to aid in the coordination and provision of technical assistance.

As part of the opening day of the 15th Annual ECOWAS Review Meeting being hosted by Ghana, participants were a Cocktail Networking Reception.

The gathering was an opportunity for participants from member countries to socialize and network in a more relaxed environment and to enjoy the rich Ghanaian culture and hospitality.

The Deputy Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection, Hon. Francisca Oteng- Mensah in a brief remark, entreated participants to use the gathering to facilitate their alliance and continue to work towards their shared aim of eliminating human trafficking.

” Amidst the clinking of glasses and the laughter that fills the air, let this gathering serve as a reminder of the power of friendship and cooperation in our pursuit of ending human trafficking. May this evening ignite the spark of collaboration and bring us closer to a shared vision of ending human trafficking, irregular migration and child exploitation,” she stated.

The 3-day summit will conclude on Wednesday with an assessment of the status of the implementation of the ECOWAS TIP plan of action 2018-2022.

Source: MoGCSP