International Anti-Slavery Day Celebrated in Bolga

By Fatima Anafu-Astanga/ Rita Avoka

Bolgatanga, Oct. 21, GNA – Mr Frank Fuseini
Adongo, Deputy Upper East Regional Minister has called for a unified front in
the fight against child trafficking and modern day slavery in the region.

He lamented the continuous abuse and
trafficking of children to unknown destinations and stressed that available
information Points to 30,000 children believed to be working in Ghana as
potters, with majority of them coming from northern parts of the country.

Mr Adongo made the call when he addressed
participants at this year’s World Anti-Slavery Day celebrated annually on
October 18 to raise awareness of human trafficking and modern slavery.

The day was to encourage Government, Local authorities,
Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) and individuals among other entities to find
ways to address the problem.

Mr Adongo said government was not relenting on
its oars and added that measures had been put in place to reduce incidences of
the menace and indicated that efforts at strengthening basic education and the
provision of Free Senior High School were key steps to minimizing child
trafficking in the region.

Other interventions the Deputy Minister noted
were the institution of Anti-Human Trafficking Unit at the Ghana Police Service
to ensure that trafficking of children was halted.

He added that government had put in place
avenues to create enabling environment for families under the Microfinance and
Small Loans Center (MASLOC), planting for food and jobs and the One-Village-One
Dam policies to reduce poverty.

The Deputy Minister commended partners such as
the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC), who
sponsored the event, Afrikids Ghana, the Core groups and other entities who are
partners in the fight against child trafficking in the region.

The event was observed by school children who
carried placards some of which read: 
“Stop child trafficking”, “Put the protocol against child trafficking to
work.  ”, “Child trafficking is
destroying the future”,  “Report all
forms of child trafficking and slavery to appropriate authorities” among
others.

Mrs Linda Marfo, Director of Programmes at
Afrikids in a solidarity message renewed commitment of her outfit to the
course, and noted that the two year partnership with NSPCC was worthwhile as it
provided a platform for stakeholders to contribute evidence of what works well
and which interventions were needed to address child trafficking.

She acknowledged the children’s Act 1998,
Human trafficking Act 2005 and the Child and family welfare policies enacted to
address the problem.

She said “the nature of human trafficking is
complex, and multifaceted hence it posed a significant challenge for
development of anti -trafficking policies, because, the root cause of the crime
is deeper than any one facet and relate to larger systemic conditions such as
poverty, forced migration among others”.

To this end she indicated that understanding
the menace in the local context was critical to developing meaningful responses
to the issue.

She thanked all partners including NSPCC,
Traditional authorities, the Domestic Violence Support Unit (DOVSU), the Ghana
Education Service, the Department of Gender, Transport Unions and the Security
Services for their support.

GNA

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