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General News

[ 2017-04-20 ]

Prosecute perpetrators of child trafficking – Samira Bawumia
Second Lady, Samira Bawumia has called on law
enforcement agencies to prosecute perpetrators of
child trafficking and forced labour in the

The wife of Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia
said it is not enough to sensitise the citizens
about the issue when the perpetrators are not
prosecuted when apprehended.

"When people are prosecuted, it will serve as a
deterrent to others," she said.

Mrs Bawumia made the call at the launch of a
baseline study on child trafficking and forced
labour on the Volta Lake by International Justice
Mission (IJM) last Thursday in Accra.

Human trafficking is an international problem
that affects millions of people across the world.
In West African countries especially Ghana,
internal trafficking of children remains one of
the biggest challenges.

The United Nations International Childen's
Emergency Fund (UNICEF) has estimated that
hundreds of children are trafficked from their
villages to work in the fishing industry.

These children, the UN agency has observed, are
compelled to work in hazardous conditions. They
work long hours and are sent to untangle nets
under the water.

Mrs. Bawumia said child trafficking is a major
problem with a prolonged history that has to be
brought to an end through the legal means.

“Some of the children are as young as four years
old. Most of them are denied their basic human
rights such as the right to education, medical
care, adequate nutrition and freedom from
servitude,” she said.

“The law provides that every child should be
allowed to go to school; it is compulsory for
every child. So any activity that impedes that is
wrong”, she said.

On her part, Gender Minister, Otiko Afisa Djaba,
said the Volta Lake is a major fishing ground in
Ghana with an estimated 22,000 children working in
the fishing industry.

She said some of the children who have been
trafficked to work on the lake are as young as six
years and are made to work long hours at the
expense of their education, physical development
and their general wellbeing.

The Gender Minister indicated her readiness to
collaborate with law enforcement agencies to
arrest the menace.

IJM Field Office Director, Kaign Christy said
child trafficking and forced labour on the lake is
a "vast and brutal" phenomenon that requires a
multifaceted approach to address.

Although he acknowledged the problem is vast, he
said it can be surmounted if criminals are made to
face the law.

Senior Attorney of IJM, Ama Dzifa Amankwah said
the findings, contained in the study, conducted in
2013 and 2015, revealed that 21.3 percent of the
children that were observed were 6 years old or

The study revealed that more than half (57.6
percent) of the children working on the southern
part of the lake were trafficked into forced

Source -

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