Ghana is source for exploitation of children…

June 9, 2008 – Ghana is a major source, transit and destination country for children and women trafficked for the purposes of forced labour and commercial sexual exploitation, according to a US Department of State report.

The 2008 Trafficking in Persons (TIP) report, officially presented by the US Embassy on Monday in Accra, said women and children were trafficked for sexual exploitation from Ghana to Western Europe, from Nigeria through Ghana to Western Europe, and from Burkina Faso through Ghana to Cote d’Ivoire.

Children are trafficked to and from other West African countries like The Gambia, Togo, Nigeria and Cote d’Ivoire for the same purposes.

The report, however, noted that trafficking within Ghana was more prevalent than trans-national trafficking, with the majority of the victims being children.

It said both boys and girls were trafficked within Ghana for forced labour, domestic servitude, sexual exploitation, in agriculture and the fishing industry, as porters and for street hawking.

Additionally, the country is also becoming a destination for sex tourists.

The report said even though the government of Ghana had not fully complied with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficked persons, it was making “significant efforts to do so”.

“While Ghana took some law enforcement steps to address sex trafficking through police raids in the last year, there were limited investigations and prosecutions and no convictions of perpetrators of this crime,” it said.

The report also cited corruption among law enforcement officials as an obstacle to effective anti-trafficking measures in Ghana.

Ghana prohibits any form of trafficking and the law prescribes a minimum penalty of five years imprisonment for all forms of trafficking.

The report recommended that Ghana strengthened its overall efforts to prosecute and convict traffickers, investigate and close down brothels selling children into prostitution and to prosecute brothel operators.

It also recommended the suspension of government officials accused of complicity in their official duties in any case of trafficking until such official be prosecuted or cleared of such allegations.

The report recommended the development of a system for providing secure care for rescued sex trafficked victims, the creation of increased shelter space for victims, training of government social workers in identifying trafficked victims among girls and women in prostitution.

The report also prescribed increased coordination between the police and government social workers in conducting trafficking raids and rescues.
Source: GNA

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Published in: on June 12, 2008 at 9:56 am  Leave a Comment  
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