The Minister Designate of the Ministry of Gender Children and Social Protection(MoGCSP), Lariba Zuweira Abudu, has stated that significant progress has been made in combatting human trafficking and irregular migration in the country.
She noted that in 2021, the number of investigations increased to 108 from 87 in 2020. Similarly, the total number of prosecutions increased to 22 from 13, with the total number of rescued victims increasing from 587 to 831 within the same period.
Madam Zuweira Abudu made this known during the opening of a three-day capacity-building program for law enforcement agencies on counter-trafficking and irregular migration, held in Kumasi on August 24, 2022.
She said, the feats, were made possible through regular education, law enforcement and awareness creation.
Human trafficking is the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring, trading or receipt of persons within and across national borders by;- the use of threats, force or other forms of coercion, abduction, fraud, deception, the abuse of power or exploitation of vulnerability; giving or receiving payments and benefits to achieve consent.
The three-day workshop, is in collaboration Expertise France, with financial support from the European Union(EU). I
It was held on the theme: "Combating Human Trafficking and Irregular Migration in Ghana to equip officers to effectively implement the Human Traffic Act 2005(Act 694).
The beneficiaries, drawn from across the country, would be trained on human rights issues, victim identification, rescue operation, victim protection, investigation, building dockets, among others to bring them up to speed on modern ways of handling human-trafficking issues.
They were selected from the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA)-Customs Division, the Ghana Police Service, the Ghana Immigration Service and the Economic and Organized Crime Office(EOCO).
On his part, Serge Akpalou, the Project Manager, Expertise France, said throughout the year, monitoring visits were conducted across the country and its borders to understand the state of affairs on the menace and to effectively tackle the issue at hand.
He said, so far, over 375 officers had been trained, and 80 other officers had also benefited from an advanced level training program.
Mr Apkalou noted that under the project, 140 Civil Aviation officers were also trained on Victim Identification and Counter Trafficking activities which have ensured that the country's airports were well secured and victims rescued in time.