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26.07.2005 General News

Human Trafficking Bill goes through second reading


Accra, July 26, GNA - A bill which seeks to criminalize human trafficking and establish structures and measures to rehabilitate victims, went through the second reading in Parliament on Tuesday. The bill, which is due for the consideration stage on Wednesday, received overwhelming support from members.

Hajia Alima Mahama, Minister of Women and Children Affairs, said the bill when passed would give the Police and other institutions the power to act decisively.

He said all ambiguities as to whom and how to combat human trafficking and that parent could no longer cover the activities of human traffickers.

Presenting a report of the Committee on Gender and Children, Ms Esther Obeng-Dappah, Chairperson, said trafficking in persons was a violation of many international laws and human rights protocols. He said persons or group of persons operating within national and across international borders were perpetrating the vice.

"The victims of human trafficking are often denied their basic freedoms and forced to work as prostitutes, labourers, domestic servants, child soldiers, fisher boys and fisher girls." According to her, the victim might be routinely raped, tortured and brutalized.

She said there was no specific legislation against the practice, "hence there is a need for the passage of this bill."