20.02.2007 General News

High human trafficking profits increases practice in Ghana

20.02.2007 LISTEN

High profits from human trafficking, rated the world's third illicit business has led to increased number of children being trafficked and transported from Ghana to neighbouring countries.

Statistics from the United Nationa's Children's Fund (UNICEF) indicated that human trafficking was rated the World's third most profitable illicit business venture apart from drugs and prostitution.

Subsequently, the number of children trafficked from Afram Plains in the Eastern, Yeji in the Brong Ahafo, and Atitekpo in the Volta Regions countries such as The Gambia and Côte d'Ivoire in particular, for hazardous occupation had increased.

UNICEF's Eric Okrah said at a workshop organized by the Association of People for Practical Life Education (APPLE), an NGO, against child trafficking in Accra that such children were made to engage in hard and exploitative work, which affected their health and well-being against the light work enshrined in the Children's Act of 1998.

Mr. Okrah said perpetrators of this crime always acted under the pretext of taking the children mostly under 16 years to school or taking proper care of them.

"Any action that tends to degrade the rights of the Ghanaian child is abhorrent and must be considered as such and dealt with," he added.

A child rights advocate with the Ghana NGO Coalition on the Rights of the Child (GNCRC), Mrs Susan Sabah, spoke on awareness creation and said there was more work to be done in the sensitization process because more people were ignorant of the laws on child trafficking.

She therefore urged the participants make good use of the information acquired to educate local people who engaged in the practice and cautioned them to be extra vigilant when they went about their work in order to identify such trafficked children and report them to the police.

Mrs. Sabah urged participants to use local information centres to update their knowledge because this would help them in their education campaign.

The Executive Director of APPLE, Mr Jack Dawson, said the workshop was organized for community co-coordinators to boost their knowledge base and also expose them to realities underlying child trafficking to help make them better equipped for their work.

Source: GNA