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22.02.2007 Social News

Human trafficking rated third illicit business in the world


Statistics indicate that human trafficking is rated the third most profitable illicit business venture in the world aside drugs and prostitution.

This has resulted in the high number of children who have been trafficked and transported from Afram Plains in the Eastern, Yeji in the Brong Ahafo, and Atitekpo rpt Atitekpo in the Volta Regions to neighbouring countries like The Gambia and Côte d'Ivoire in particular, to engage in hazardous occupation.

Mr Eric Okrah of the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) office in Accra disclosed this at a workshop organized by the Association of People for Practical Life Education (APPLE), an NGO, against child trafficking.

He said 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 who were often 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.

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

She therefore called on the participants to make good the information acquired to educate local people who engaged in the practice.

She 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, as 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.