Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection, Nana Oye Lithur, has called for a collective effort from all state security agencies and the Parliament to institute enough protective and punitive measures to end the prevalence of child trafficking and child labour in the country.
She said this in a speech read on her behalf by the acting head of child trafficking secretariat, Madam Victoria Natsu during the commemoration of this year’s World Day Against Child Labour in Accra.
In a joint venture between the Gender ministry, Companion International Ghana, SEWA Foundation and the VIP Bus Service, the minister warned that child trafficking and child labour are heinous crimes against children which retards their survival and development and breeds criminal conducts, corruption and undermines human resource development.
She notes, combating this foe will require a united collaboration from families, communities, schools and all religious bodies including non-governmental groups to show commitment to reduce the trend to the barest minimum.
She enumerates that though Ghanaian parents have time past sent their children to live with extended family members to strengthen ties and acquire quality education or skills training which are lacking in the rural setting, most extended families tend to abuse the system as they subject the children through hard labour to their own benefits.
Honorable Oye Lither establishes Ghana has become a country of origin, transit and destination for men, women and children who are subjected to forced labour. She stresses that trafficking of Ghanaian children within Ghana is even more prevalent than the transnational trafficking of immigrants, against few reported cases of women and men from Vietnam and China trafficked to Ghana to do prostitution and illegal mining in some parts of the cities as well as the hinterlands.
She reveals there are several actors involved in the trafficking process including recruiters, intermediaries, transporters, both employers and brothel operators and family members and friends.
She states the act is unacceptable and violates the fundamental human rights to childhood, right to education, health and to family life. She pleads with society to lend a hand in the quest to stop trafficking and child labour because it forces children to become premature adults.
Member of Parliament for Nsawam-Adoagyiri, Annor Dompreh on the other hand particularly pleaded with Ghanaian cocoa farmers to desist using trafficked children in their cultivation as it violates the laws of international labour organization which invites sanctions that could prevent the country’s cocoa from being accepted in the international trade market. He also promised to re-echo the issues of child labour and trafficking in parliament for further support to end the trend.
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