Most countries in the world are affected by this menace as a country of origin, transit or destination for victims. Trafficking In Persons (Human Trafficking) is a form of modern day slavery where people are illegally traded for exploitation or commercial gain.
Trafficking in persons is a serious crime and a grave violation of human rights. Each year, thousands of men, women and children fall into the hands of traffickers, in their own countries and abroad.
Ghana being a member of the United Nations joins the rest of the world each year to commemorate the World Day against Trafficking In Persons also known as the Blue Day.
The theme for this year’s celebration was “STAKEHOLDERS ACT NOW TO END HUMAN TRAFFICKING AMIDST COVID-19 IN GHANA”. As part of the activities line up for the celebration, the Human Trafficking Secretariat under the auspices of the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection with sponsorship from the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) organised a two-day capacity building programme for Law Enforcement Agencies at the Coconut Grove Hotel, Accra from 14th – 15th July, 2020.
The Anti-Human Trafficking Unit of EOCO and Other Law Enforcement Agencies participated in the training, the main aim of the programme was to equip Law Enforcement Officers with the requisite skills and knowledge to effectively identify victims, prevent human trafficking activities, collaborate with partners and prosecute offenders of trafficking in persons.
At the workshop, the Head of Anti-Human Trafficking Unit of EOCO, DCSO Akuetteh Nortey spoke on the topic “Trafficking as an Organised Crime: Money Laundering and Asset Seizure”. In his presentation, he defined organised crime as any group having some manner of a formalised structure and whose primary objective is to obtain money through illegal activities. He also noted that EOCO is mandated to investigate and prosecute serious offences involving:Financial or Economic loss to the Republic or any State entity or institution in which the State has financial interest, some examples of which are: Money Laundering, Human Trafficking, Prohibited Cyber Activity, Tax Fraud and Other Serious Offences.
In addition, he mentioned that, Money Laundering threatens the peace and socioeconomic development of countries, undermines legitimate businesses and negatively impacts a country’s International Credit Rating to mention but a few. Finally, he concluded by saying Human Trafficking and Money Laundering is a crime and that forfeiture, confiscation and prosecution is the remedy. (Criminals must not benefit from their crimes).
On 30th July 2020, a durbar was organised at the Eastern Premier Hotel, Koforidua to mark the end of this year’s Blue Day celebration. Fifty (50) Traditional Authorities drawn from source communities (trafficking prone areas), across the country, law enforcement agencies, Non- Governmental Organisations and a cross-section of Ghanaians attended this durbar.
The purpose of the durbar was to inform community leaders, opinion leaders, potential migrants and vulnerable groups about the dangers of Human Trafficking, irregular migration, various forms of child trafficking and the important role they collectively need to play to effectively prevent issues of trafficking from the grassroots. Participants at the durbar were also informed of the legal consequences of human/child trafficking including the arrest, prosecution and conviction of perpetrators of human trafficking. In addition, Traditional Leaders at the durbar pledged their commitment in the fight against Trafficking In Persons.
http://www.un.org/en/observervances /end-human- trafficking-day
Source: Public Affairs Unit Desk/Anti-Human Trafficking Unit