January 10, 2020 10:53 am

The Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection and the Human Trafficking Management Board in collaboration with the International Organization for Migration have held a one day community engagement and sensitization on human trafficking and child exploitation at Kete Krachi, Oti Region on 9th January, 2020.

The purpose of the programme was to engage and sensitize the residents of the Krachi West District and the general public on the dangers associated with human trafficking, child labour, irregular migration and child abuse.

The sensitization also aims at increasing preventive efforts in combatting human trafficking and child exploitation.

It also seeks to bring all stakeholders in the District together to understand the issues of human trafficking and child labour to improve mechanisms in counter trafficking.

The Deputy Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection, Hon. Freda Prempeh in her keynote address said for human trafficking to reduce to the barest minimum, more sensitization programmes need to be organised to educate the people and also understand the situation as it is.

She said issues of children working on and along the lake has raised many questions and attracted a lot of attention and from 2017 to date over 135 children has been rescued along the Krachi West enclave stretch of the Volta Lake.

Hon. Freda Prempeh lamented that children are very vulnerable and need to be protected from all forms of harm whether physical, emotional, psychological and any other forms that obstruct the child’s education and moral upbringing.

She however stated emphatically that child work conforms to normal training and upbringing where children help out in all chores and even support the livelihoods of their parents/guardians, however if the work load or type of work becomes harmful and dangerous and it is not age appropriate it becomes child labour.

The Deputy Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection, Hon. Freda Prempeh said it becomes more serious when someone deceives a parent/guardian, use force, threat, violence, false promises to move these children just for the purpose of exploiting them, or puts them in a situation where they can be exploited, and then it is child trafficking.

Children should not and are not a source for cheap labour. They must be in school, hence it is against the law for anyone to facilitate trafficking in any way and this includes the role drivers, boat and canoe owners play in transporting these children from source communities to destination areas to be exploited.