Speaker calls for collaboration to tackle child slavery
The Speaker of Parliament, Professor Aaron Mike Oquaye, has called for further collaboration between Ghana and the United Kingdom (UK) to tackle child slavery and human trafficking in the country.
He said increasing support for girl-child education would, in the long-run, help mothers fend for themselves and avoid giving their children away to be exploited.
Prof. Oquaye made the call when a three-member delegation from the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) called on him at his office in Parliament House.
The delegation was led by Baroness Lola Young to discuss the issues of child slavery and human trafficking with the country’s authorities.
It had earlier met with the Majority and Minority leadership to discuss those issues.
Prof. Oquaye stated that poverty, misery and diseases were some of the challenges why some parents in developing countries trafficked their children.
He, therefore, called for fair international trading systems that would allow developing countries to emerge from their dependency on raw materials to the production of goods and engagement in services to reduce poverty and misery among their people.
He said the countries must go to the basics of their economies to remove the inequalities that led to poverty, misery and disease.
Baroness Young, for her part, stated that the visit afforded members of the delegation the opportunity to share experiences with the Ghanaian authorities on how to tackle child slavery and human trafficking.
She called for the strengthening of the country’s legislation to tackle those problems and other forms of child abuse.
Baroness Young applauded the Government for banning recruitment agencies that sent young ladies to the Gulf Region to work, only to end up being abused.
The Ranking Member on Foreign Affairs, Mr Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, lauded the government for placing a ban on recruitment agencies which did not meet the laid down requirements.
He called for reforms of some aspects of the Human Trafficking Act, Domestic Violence Act and Children’s Act, which had become mundane.
He expressed concern about recent policies of unilateralism by some countries and said they were not good for global peace and security, especially as human trafficking and terrorism needed the support of all to be tackled.
Mr Ablakwa condemned some non-governmental organisations (NGOs) for a documentary they produced on child slavery on the Volta Lake, which was aired on CNN, saying it projected the country in a bad light.
He said the 20,000 figure quoted in the documentary as the number of child slaves working on the Volta Lake was exaggerated.
He said some NGOs when seeking for donor funding tended to exaggerate the issues.
“We are not trying to blame them across the board and say there are no issues of child slaves but the way it was portrayed, especially the 20,000, we take strong exception to that,” he said. - GNA