IOM Launches Standard Operating Procedures to Combat Human Trafficking in Ghana

From left: Adelaide Anno-Kumi (Chief Director, Ministry of the Interior), Rustum Nyquist (Political Officers, U.S. Embassy), Sylvia Lopez-Ekra (Chief of Mission, IOM Ghana), Kwesi Armo-Himbson (Chief Director, Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection), Elizabeth Sackeyfio (State Attorney, Attorney General’s Department), Victoria Natsu (Director, Human Trafficking Secretariat) at the launch of the SOPs.

Kwesi Armo-Himbson, Chief Director, Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection. 

Accra – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, in partnership with the Governments of Ghana and the United States has launched on Tuesday (24/04) its Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) to Combat Human Trafficking in Ghana, with an emphasis on child trafficking.

IOM Ghana partnered with national and international experts to develop the five-chapter document which covers: Identification and Screening, Direct Assistance, Investigation, and Prosecution of cases of trafficking in persons, particularly children.

IOM has also trained 500 government officials from the Volta, Central, and Greater Accra regions on the use of the SOPs to strengthen their capacity to protect victims of trafficking.

“The complex nature of human trafficking requires strong cooperation and coordination from all actors involved,” said Sylvia Lopez-Ekra, IOM Ghana Chief of Mission. “However, a lack of a common understanding of the roles and responsibilities of each stakeholder is an obstacle to working efficiently together. With these SOPs, we will be able to minimize variations in the way we identify, assist, investigate and prosecute cases of trafficking in Ghana regardless of where in Ghana it is happening, and which government agency is working on the case”, she added.

As part of the launch event, a short-animated video explaining how and why it is important to use the SOPs was also played to increase awareness of their importance.

“Stakeholders must come together to fight human and child trafficking. However, every institution, organization or individual must understand what is to be done for human trafficking issues. As the saying goes: if it must be done, it must be done well. It is for this reason that the SOPs have come in handy, and is expected to create a deeper understanding of the issue of human trafficking, victim identification, processes of protecting victims, and foster an inclusive collaboration among key stakeholders,” said Kwesi Armo-Himbson, the Chief Director for the Ministry for Gender, Children and Social Protection in the keynote address.

The SOPs were developed as part of the Child Protection Compact (CPC) Partnership between the Governments of Ghana and the United States, with funding from the US Department of State’s Office to Combat Trafficking in Persons. As an implementing partner of the CPC, IOM provides technical support to Government stakeholders responsible for protecting victims of trafficking and prosecuting perpetrators. 

For more information please contact Alex Billings at IOM Ghana, Tel: +233 302 742 930, Email: