May 14, 2015

Parliament on Wednesday expressed worry over Ghana having been identified as a transit point and destination country for human trafficking, saying it is denting the image of the country in the eyes of the international community.

The Legislators are thus requesting government to adequately resource the law enforcement agencies to stop the criminal act.

The MPs were contributing to a statement made on the floor of Parliament by MP for Subin, Mr Isaac Osei which touched on the 2014 “Trafficking in Persons Report” published by the US Department of State which finger Ghana as a source, transit and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to forced labour and sex trafficking.

The report futher stated that despite the fact that the government of Ghana was committed and indeed fighting the illegal act, it was not adhering entirely with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking, as intra-country trafficking was far more widespread than transnational trafficking of persons.

“Ghanaian boys and girls are subjected to forced labor within the country in fishing, domestic service, street hawking, begging, artisanal gold mining, and agriculture. Ghanaian girls, and to a lesser extent boys, are subjected to prostitution within Ghana. Child prostitution is prevalent in the Volta Region and is growing in the oil-producing Western regions,” said the State Department Report.

“Ghanaian women and children are recruited and transported primarily to Nigeria, Cote d’Ivoire, Burkina Faso, The Gambia, South Africa, Israel, Syria, Lebanon, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Russia, France, the United Kingdom, Germany, and the United States for forced labor and forced prostitution.

“Women and girls voluntarily migrating from primarily Vietnam, China, Nigeria, Cote d’Ivoire, Burkina Faso, and Benin are subjected to commercial sexual exploitation after arriving in Ghana. Citizens from other West African countries are subjected to forced labor in Ghana in agriculture or domestic service,” the report noted.

Hon. Isaac Osei who was Ghana’s former High Commissioner to the United Kingdom asserted that Ghana per the actions of government had not indicated enough dedication to deal with the problem of human trafficking which all modern countries sought to eliminate.

He said Parliament must as a matter of urgency send a “strong” message to government that “we should no longer continue to marginalize a large section of our vulnerable people.”

“Let us commit to prosecute the traffickers, let us commit to protect the victims and let us work to prevent human trafficking of all kind”.