We Shall Win The Fight Against Human Trafficking / Child Trafficking & Illegal Adoption
February 19, 2018 2:05 pm
The Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection, Hon. Otiko Afisah Djaba has stated emphatically that this area was a unique opportunity to ensure that the fight against practices of human trafficking and illegal adoption of children is won. According to her, It’s a unique opportunity, Ghana sixty years on we ensure that “with patriotism, Commitment and Effective Partnership we shall win the fight against Human/ Child Trafficking and Illegal Adoptions”.
The Sector Minister said that as a nation, we have lived with this phenomenon of sending off our children to live with other people, known or unknown to us and child trafficking for a long while now due to our socio-cultural practices. It is time we make a big shift from our way of doing things and to say a BIG NO!!! to human/child trafficking.
Hon. Otiko Djaba made these pronouncements at a seminar on Adoption and Human trafficking in Kumasi for Justices of the High Court selected form the Northern Sector of the Ghana.
The seminar – sensitisation programme – aimed at strengthening the capacity of judges with respect to Adoption and Human Trafficking and their jurisdictions with a key attention on judges’ exclusive original jurisdiction in Adoption cases and original appellate jurisdiction in Human Trafficking cases.
The seminar also comes as the second edition of the training on adoption and human trafficking held in Accra on Monday 12th February 2018 for Justices of High Court in the Southern Sector.
In her welcome address, the Gender Minister, Hon. Otiko Afisah explained that the purpose of this gathering was to engage the judiciary – a key stakeholder in alternative child care service delivery – to update ourselves on the reviewed laws governing foster care, child adoption and human trafficking, since we share a common medium and means for service delivery, the law. This partnership today is unique in understanding towards the process of prosecutions and convictions, she added.
The Minister disclosed to participants that during the year 2017 alone, her Ministry and security services with support from partner stakeholders rescued 554 victims of human trafficking. Out of this number, the Ghana Police Service rescued 314 victims and the Ghana Immigration Service intercepted 215 victims and the 25 were rescued through various circumstances. However, Hon. Otiko Djaba lamented about measures of responses to the numerous cases happening without the notice of stakeholders?
According to the Minister, adoption is not a right of a person who desires to have a child placed with him/her. It is a legal and permanent way of providing a new family for a child who finds himself in a situation that is found to make it impossible for him to live with his own family. Consequently, the need for evidence that due process was completed at each milestone of the process is pertinent to consider in granting an adoption order and avoiding the illegal adoption or adoption fraud trap. The procedures are necessary to protect children from child traffickers, she stressed.
Hon. Otiko Djaba stated that as State actors, there is an urgent need for them to share a common understanding of our complementary roles within the law that can enable them protect vulnerable families from the canker of unnecessary family separation, illegal adoptions and human trafficking, particularly, upholding the rights of the child. She urged every key player in the fight against human/child trafficking and illegal adoption especially judges to use their very unique position to protect our Ghana.
Representing the Chief Justice at the Kumasi seminar, Justice W. A. Atuguba called on Judges to be very professional in the application of their power when faced with matters of human trafficking and illegal adoption. He, further, stated that the future and happiness of children ready for adoption and victims of trafficking lies in their power. Hence, the need to be extra vigilant and sensitive when approving adoption requests.
Justice Atuguba, on behalf of judges, pledged to put into best practices every element, idea, suggestion and recommendations the seminar offered.
Participants of the seminar were taken through reviewed laws of Human trafficking, and on Adoption by Justice Dennis Adjei, Justice of the Court of Appeal and Director of the Judicial Training Institute.