US, Ghana make progress in addressing child trafficking; pledge to increase efforts

General News of Wednesday, 31 October 2018

Source: Asiedu Joyce O

2018-10-31

File photo: Trafficked children made to go fishing

Senior officials from the Governments of Ghana and the United States met on October 31 to review progress toward meeting the objectives of the U.S.-Ghana Child Protection Compact (CPC) Partnership.

The CPC Partnership began in 2015 and the first high-level consultation in 2017. The meeting on October 31, 2018 marks the second annual partnership meeting. Ghana is the first country in the world to partner with the United States in this way to address forced child labor and child sex trafficking.

Representing the Ghanaian government were the Honorable Deputy Minister for Gender, Children, and Social Protection Gifty Twum Ampofo; the Honorable Minister for the Interior Ambrose Dery; the Honorable Minister for Employment and Labor Relations Ignatius Baffour Awuah; and Yvonne Atakora-Obuobisa, Director of Public Prosecutions at the Office of the Attorney General and Ministry of Justice.

The U.S. delegation was led by U.S. Embassy Chargé d’Affaires Christopher J. Lamora and U.S. State Department Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons (TIP Office) Deputy Director Joel Maybury.

Representatives from both governments devoted the morning discussing activities aimed at achieving the five-year Partnership’s objectives, which focus on prevention of child trafficking and improved prosecution, protection, and interagency coordination in response to cases of child trafficking.

All participants acknowledged the progress achieved since the Partnership’s beginning in 2015 and challenges yet to be addressed, documented through an evaluation completed in early 2018.

That evaluation reported an increased public awareness of child trafficking in the partnership regions (Greater Accra, Central, and Volta); improved interagency coordination on child trafficking cases; and an increased number of investigations, prosecutions, and convictions in child trafficking cases. Convictions under the Human Trafficking Act increased from zero in 2015 and 2016 to six convictions in 2017.

Deputy Director Joel Maybury shared a message from Ambassador-at-Large to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons John Cotton Richmond, who conveyed that, “We are pleased to see progress achieved through our Child Protection Compact Partnership with Ghana and pledge the United States’ continuing support for this partnership and for our shared commitment to action to protect Ghana’s children.”

Supported by $5 million in U.S. government assistance, the CPC Partnership is the first of its kind and remains a cornerstone in anti-trafficking initiatives in Africa. For more information about the CPC Partnership, please visit https://www.state.gov/j/tip/cpc/.

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