The Deputy Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection, Mrs Rachel Appoh Opoku, has appealed to members of the security agencies to intensify security checks aimed at tracking perpetrators of human trafficking.
The deputy minister, who is in charge of Social Welfare, made the appeal when she and the Kumasi Metropolitan Chief Executive, Mr Kojo Bonsu and Member of Parliament (MP) for Oforikrom, Madam Elizabeth Agyeman, visited Dagomba Line, a suburb of Oforikrom in Kumasi to check on the living conditions of female porters popularly referred to as “kayayei”, who operate in the area.
Mrs Opoku, who is also the MP for Gomoa Central, said vigilance on the part of members of the security agencies, thorough inspection of vehicles, questioning and rescuing of possible victims en route to the south for ‘greener pastures’, could help curb the menace of ‘kayayei’.
There are about 9,000 ‘kayayei’ residing at Dagomba Line occupying makeshift structures, with each of them paying GH¢2 a week asr rent.
There are rampant cases of rape and theft and the young girls leave in insanitary conditions as refuse are piled everywhere. Some are also alleged to be engaged in prostitution.
Their rooms also serve as places for washing, storage of groundnut and powdered pepper for sale.
The girls pay 50 pesewas each day to take a shower and to attend to the call of nature .
Among the kayayei are minors as young as four years who have been trafficked to the south and are engaged in the sale of ‘pure water’.
Moved by the plight of three siblings aged 9, 11 and 13, who have been abandoned by their mother and were engaged in hazardous and exploitative labour, the deputy minister urged parents not to shirk their responsibilities to children.
Out of the 9,000 young girls who live in the area, the MP for the area, Madam Agyeman has registered 2000 under the national health insurance scheme and they have also benefited from health screening exercises organised by the MP.
The KMA chief executive promised to provide streetlights in the area and appealed to the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection to support him to build a crèche for the little ones to enable them to have education while their parents were at work.
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