Ghana - In August 2014 IOM Ghana will roll out a series of community-based child protection and counter-trafficking training sessions as part of a UNICEF-backed project.
The project, entitled: “Technical Support to Government of Ghana to address Child Trafficking and other Child Protection Abuses: Phase II” will focus on the Ketu South Municipality, and North and South Tongu Districts of the Volta Region.
These community awareness sessions follow the recent training of 16 community volunteers and three district representatives on the ‘Free To Be Me’ Child Protection Toolkit developed in Phase I of the project.
The community focused sessions will continue through October 2014, facilitated by community volunteers and the IOM counter-trafficking team.
Protection and prevention modules will focus on the harsh realities of child labour; the legal implications of child trafficking; parenting techniques; and children’s rights.
All members of the community including elders, local council members, residents and children will be targeted as part of outreach efforts.
“The ‘Free To Be Me’ toolkit empowers communities to combat child trafficking. We hope that this second phase will contribute to efforts to break the cycle of harmful practices against children. All parents want the best for their children. With this initiative, we give them a chance to collectively revisit traditional values of good parenting,” says Sylvia Lopez-Ekra, IOM Ghana Chief of Mission.
IOM has been active in Ghana since 1987 and has contributed to the efforts of the Government of Ghana to manage migration effectively through a wide variety of projects and programmes.
IOM Accra started its programmes by supporting the institutional capacity-building needs within the country through Phase Two of the Return of Qualified African Nationals (RQAN II) programme (1988-92). This programme facilitated the return of highly qualified African nationals including Ghanaians residing in the diaspora to contribute to the socio-economic development of Ghana by returning home to take up key positions in priority sectors including health, education, economics, finance, public service, and political administration.
Since then, the office has grown to address a variety of migration management needs. During the past 10 years, IOM Accra has been involved in refugee resettlement and the movement of various migrants for family reunification and other opportunities to various countries throughout the world. Other IOM Accra activities include migration policy development, labour migration, migration and development, combating human-trafficking, assisted voluntary returns, border management, information campaigns on the risks and realities of migration, and humanitarian and emergency response.