332 Human traffickers probed between 2016 and 2018
A total of 332 human traffickers were investigated between 2016 and 2018 across the country.
Out of the number, only 53 were prosecuted and 30 others still have their dockets at the Attorney General’s department.
Of the 53 prosecuted, 18 were convicted using the Human Trafficking Act, 15 others were prosecuted with the Children’s Act and the remaining 17 were prosecuted using other laws of the country such as the Criminal Code.
This was made known by the Human Trafficking Secretariat of the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection at a four-day gender summit organised by the ministry in Accra.
The summit, on the theme “Promoting Social Inclusion: Leave No One behind,” was aimed at taking stock of activities, programmes, achievements and challenges of the ministry for the year 2018 to help realign the ministry for improved performance.
The summit was sponsored by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the Department for International Development (DFID), the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) and it brought together stakeholders, including non-governmental organisations, ministries, departments and agencies and civil society organisations.
The acting Director of the Human Trafficking Secretariat, Ms Abena Anobea Asare, in a presentation on ‘Eliminating Human Trafficking in Ghana’, cited interferences as one of the main challenges facing the issue of prosecution of human traffickers.
She also cited inadequate resources and funding to do more in the areas of prevention, protection, prosecution and partnerships with civil society and donor partners.
Another area of challenge, she said ,was the issue of “culture, fosterage and our way of socialisation and lack of attitudinal change.
She also indicated that people were still confused about the basic concepts and differences in child labour, child abuse, child trafficking, human smuggling and others.
Data, she said, was also an issue in the country as data collected were still not holistically representing national efforts.
She added that the absence of shelters in all the regions was also a barrier to victim support and investigations, saying currently there was no shelter for adult males who were trafficked in the country.
The acting Director of the Department of Social Welfare, Mr Daniel Nonah, in a presentation on ‘Enhancing Social Welfare Systems in Ghana,’ said the department was working to create a socially developed country where the disadvantaged, vulnerable persons with disabilities and the excluded were integrated into mainstream development.
As part of its mission, he said the department worked with people in their communities to improve their wellbeing through the promotion of social development with equity for the disadvantaged, the vulnerable, persons with disabilities and the excluded.
He mentioned some of the functions of the department to include developing and coordinating community-based rehabilitation programme for persons with disabilities, promoting access to social welfare services for the disadvantaged, vulnerable and excluded groups and individuals, as well as facilitating opportunities for non-governmental organisations to develop social services in collaboration with the communities.
Its policies are to provide professional social welfare services in all districts to ensure that statutory responsibilities of the department were carried out in the field of justice administration, child rights promotion protection and community care.
There were other presentations from the Domestic Violence Secretariat on ‘Combating Domestic Violence in Ghana’ and the National Council on Persons with Disability on ‘Empowering Persons with Disability for Development in Ghana’.
After each of the presentations, there were panel discussions for civil society organisations, international partners, non-governmental organisations, departments and agencies.