Anti-Human Trafficking Booklet Launch
On the 17th of November at Kpeyibor – South Tongu District- Volta Region, The French Embassy, Ghana in partnership with the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the Ministry for Gender, Children and Social Protection carried out a booklet launch to sensitize the Ghanaian public on the anti-human trafficking law.
According to François Pujolas, Ambassador of France to Ghana, “this program which has a strong regional dimension with several cross border activities also aims at strengthening the West African regional integration”.
The event which was a festive celebration of community commitment to child rights, was attended by over 150 community members, as well as key national, regional and district level government officials.
Each year, about 2.5 million victims, mainly women and children, are recruited and exploited throughout the world. According to the United Nations and the Council of Europe, human trafficking is the third most widespread form of trafficking in the world after drug and arms trafficking, generating an annual turnover of at least 32 billion euros.
Previous prevention work by IOM in the Volta Region revealed that only 4.7 per cent of the community surveyed understood child trafficking as being a human rights violation. This was a wake-up call that highlighted the need to ensure that as many Ghanaians as possible are aware of the laws that exist to protect their communities, including children, against traffickers.
This booklet launch will conclude the project Increasing Public Knowledge of the Ghanaian Human Trafficking Law, funded by the French Embassy in Ghana. This initiative was aimed at supporting the Government of Ghana and the relevant counter-trafficking actors and local communities in improving the understanding of human-trafficking, more specifically of the existing legislative measures to fight this phenomenon in the country.
Over the last decade, the Government of Ghana has been working towards improving its response to this issue through the adoption of the Human Trafficking Act (2005).However, the number of cases that are prosecuted every year continues to be low.
The 16-page booklet, available in English and Ewe, includes illustrations and simple text, to inform various audiences including those with low literacy skills about the 2005 Human Trafficking Act. The project funded by the French Embassy in Ghana and implemented by IOM benefited from invaluable expert contributions by Government, United Nations and Civil Society experts. “Beyond pure information sharing, we hope that this new tool will make the communities play a more proactive role in child protection. Communities have an inner desire to protect their own and this is what we are trying to ignite and mobilize for more effective human trafficking prevention”, stated Ms. Sylvia Lopez-Ekra, IOM Chief of Mission in Ghana.
As a start, two thousand booklets will be disseminated through district level structures in order to motivate communities to take ownership of the law and make positive use of it to protect their communities and children.