A civil society group, the International Justice Mission has urged the government to resource the police service to mount checks along the Volta Lake to help in the fight against human trafficking.
According to the organization, although it has over the years partnered with the police service in rescuing children who have fallen victim to human trafficking, the government needs to do more.
Director of Advocacy and Partnerships for the International Justice Mission, Leonard Ackon said the following in a Citi News interview on the sidelines of the Conference of Selected Police Officers on Human Trafficking:
“It is important for us to put a police patrol boat on the Volta Lake. At the moment, we don’t have police patrolling the Volta Lake to enforce laws on exploitation of children on the lake. The other thing is that we have one adult shelter for victims of water trafficking. And that shelter is for females only. So in terms of male victims, we don’t have anywhere to place them. Even with the females, if you are able to rescue a lot of them, there is no place to put them so that is a form of drawback in providing the needed care and support to them.”
“If you go to the regions, you will see that the departments of social welfare, anti-human trafficking unit of the Ghana Police Service are not well resourced. It is important that these very important stakeholders are resourced to help address the problem,” he added.
Human trafficking is among the major crimes tackled by the country’s police service, with most children being trafficked to work on farmlands and on the high seas.
Some children are also trafficked to herd cattle.
Allow police to handle sexual abuse and human trafficking cases – Gender Minister to chiefs
The Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection, Cynthia Mamle Morrison, has asked traditional rulers to collaborate with the Ghana Police Service in exposing people involved in crimes such as defilement, rape and human trafficking.
There have been reports of some chiefs and opinion leaders often interfering in the handling of such cases, especially in rural communities.
But the Minister has acknowledged the role of traditional authorities in community development and called on chiefs to use their influence to expose persons involved in the sexual abuse of children and human trafficking.
“We acknowledge the vital role that chiefs play in solving problems in their communities, but unlike land disputes and family feuds which can be resolved at the traditional courts, we appeal to them to report cases such as rape, defilement and child trafficking to the police for further actions.”