General News of Wednesday, 12 July 2017
Human trafficking has become a canker that is threatening the very survival of persons nationally and globally as the menace is on the ascendancy.
It is on this backdrop that the Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection, Otiko Afisa Djaba calls on all stakeholders to see the fight against human trafficking as a national obligation as government is committed to “walking the talk” on fighting human trafficking.
“Human trafficking destroys lives, human trafficking is offensive, human trafficking attracts a punishment of 5 – 25yrs imprisonment; the strong arm of the law will be brought to bear. And we shall walk the talk,” she remarked.
Human trafficking is seen as the second largest and highest illegal trade aside drug generating a whopping $ 150 billion dollars as of 2014. And most persons trafficked are women and children.
According to the Minister, many vulnerable persons largely children and women are being exploited in fishing communities, domestic servitude, cattle herding, illegal mining, sexual exploitation amongst others.
Speaking at the media launch of the UN Day against Human Trafficking – Blue Day Commemoration, she said government has allocated GHC 1.5 million to the human trafficking secretariat to support the fight against the canker so that victims would be supported.
The ministry will also launch the Human Trafficking National Plan of Action on July 19, as part of activities to combat the crime. There is a joint rescue operation between the ministry and the Ghana Police Service on the Volta lake in which 55 victims have been rescued.
Furthermore, 27 suspects have been arrested and facing prosecution whilst 2 women and 7 children rescued and are going through rehabilitation. So far there are two persons that have been convicted; one in Ho and the other in Accra. In addition, 8 cases are still under investigation.
Also present at the launch was MP for Hohoe and member of the Parliamentary team sponsored by Commonwealth Parliamentary Association on Child Savery, Dr. Bernice Adiku Heloo, place value on legislation as one of the key tools to fight the menace.
Therefore, as legislators, some of them have been selected and given special training in human trafficking so that the laws concerning the canker would be enacted to serve its best purpose.
She called on parents to desist from selling their wards into servitude with notion that they are poor and have no other source of living a decent life.