July 12, 2023 11:59 am

The Human Trafficking Secretariat (HTS) of the Ministry of Gender, Children, and Social Protection (MoGCSP) in collaboration with Expertise France organized a media launch towards the commemoration of the United Nations Day (UN) against Human Trafficking.

The event, which took place in Accra on Tuesday, July 11, 2023, was themed “Ending Human Trafficking: A Collective Responsibility.” Globally, Ghana observes the World Day against Human Trafficking also known as ‘the Blue Day’ every year on July 30.

The goal of the launch was to strengthen the country’s coordinated efforts while also raising public awareness of the risks of child labour, human trafficking, and other types of exploitation through media channels.

Madam Abena Annobea Asare, Head of the HTS, delivered a welcome statement on behalf of Dr. Afisah Zakariah, the Ministry’s Chief Director, and stated that the Ministry, in collaboration with other stakeholders, will continue to organize a series of activities to raise awareness about human trafficking issues.

She urged everyone to remain cautious and to join the fight by reporting any suspected cases to law enforcement officials for investigation.

On behalf of the sector Minister, Hon. Lariba Zuweira, the Deputy Minister for MoGCSP, Hon. Francisca Oteng Mensah, stated that the Government of Ghana has retained Ghana’s tier two global position through coordinated efforts. According to her, this demonstrates how the government is taking substantial steps to prevent human trafficking.

“It demonstrates how we have demonstrated commitment to the fight against human trafficking, yielding greater results in terms of prosecutions obtained and victims rescued.” she added.

She urged parties working in the field of human trafficking to always adhere to the standard operating procedures established to assist government agencies in meeting set targets and goals, while also encouraging them to refrain from establishing duplicate government organizations.

According to the Deputy Minister, law enforcement personnel reported and investigated 108 cases in 2022. 31 instances involving 57 individuals were prosecuted, with 37 convictions obtained for human trafficking, 10 for child labor, and10 for other associated charges.

Prof. Angela Ofori Atta of the Human Trafficking Management Board (HTMB) stated that the fight against human trafficking has had both triumphs and challenges. She stated that the Ministry has educated 798 law enforcement officers, 230 judges from the High, District, Circuit, and Magistrate Courts, 107 social workers, and printed over 12,000 information, education, and communication materials to enhance public awareness during the last five (5) years.

Prof. Angela Ofori-Atta urged partners to work together to develop innovative ways to combat emerging forms of human trafficking, which she described as a security danger to every nation and its people.

Anna LIXI, Head of Sector Governance and Security at the EU Delegation to Ghana in her statement said the EU and its member states have taken pragmatic measures to fight trafficking in human beings are stepping up their efforts to stop this heinous crime.

According to her, in 2021, 3108 criminals were arrested and €35 million were seized due to the EU’s action. She reaffirmed EU’s commitment to partner the MoGCSP and other donors to fight human trafficking in the subregion.

The United Nations (UN) designated July 30 as Human Trafficking Awareness Day in 2010 after the General Assembly adopted the Global Plan of Action to Combat Trafficking in Persons (TIP).