NGO calls for measures to address child trafficking

BY: Deborah Oluwamuyiwa

The Country Director of Engage Now Africa (ENA), Mr David Kofi Awusi, has called for pragmatic measures to tackle the increasing rate of child trafficking in the country, describing it as “the modern slavery.”

He said there was the need to act positively to address the problem because it was on the increase,which could destroy the country’s human capital base.

Mr Awusi was speaking at a sensitisation durbar on child and human trafficking for about 200 school pupils in Cape Coast.

Durbar

The durbar, which was on the theme, “Am Aware, You Can’t Traffic Me,” was organised by the Ghana Police Service in collaboration with Engage Now Africa, a non-governmental organisation (NGO).


Pupils from the St Mary’s Anglican School, Eyifua, the Police Basic School, the Catholic Jubilee School, the Jacob Wilson Sey Basic School and the Christ Church Anglican School, all in the Central Region, were educated on ways to stay safe during the current holiday period.

According to statistics from the Coalition of NGOs Against Child Trafficking (CNACT), 57.6 per cent of children working at the southern portion of the Volta Lake were trafficked into forced labour.

Mr Awusi said ENA aimed to eradicate all forms of slavery and child trafficking in the country and as part of its activities, it was sensitising both parents and children to the negative impact of child trafficking.

“The fight against child trafficking is not a one-sided affair and for the fight against it to be won, both parents and children must be educated on the harm caused by child trafficking and how it can be prevented”, he added.

At the event, the Central Regional Police Commander, Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCOP), Paul Manly Awini, said the regional police command, in collaboration with civil society organisations, was determined to do everything possible within the laws of Ghana to protect children against all forms of child abuse.

“We have also positioned vigilant police officers on our roads and barriers to detect children who are being trafficked in vehicles and other means of transport”, he said.

Sensitisation

DCOP Awini said it was essential to equip children with information on the menace of child trafficking because they were at risk of being trafficked.

He said intelligence gathered by the police service had shown that children from the region were mostly trafficked to Yeji in the Brong Ahafo Region and other communities along the Volta Lake during the current holiday period, hence the need to educate them.

DCOP Awini advised pupils to report any suspected case of child abuse or trafficking to their parents, a teacher or the nearest police station for the necessary action to be taken.