IOM Promotes Counter Trafficking in Ghana

Posted: 
11/18/16

Ghana – The French Embassy in Ghana, IOM and Ghana’s Ministry for Gender, Children and Social Protection yesterday (17/11) launched a new booklet designed to empower communities to stop human trafficking.

Previous prevention work by IOM in the Volta Region revealed that only 4.7 percent of the community surveyed understood child trafficking as a human rights violation. This was a wake-up call that highlighted the need for more Ghanaians to become aware of the laws that exist to protect their communities, especially children, against human traffickers.

The 16-page book, available in English and Ewe, one of the local languages, includes illustrations and simple text, to inform audiences, including those with low literacy skills, about Ghana’s 2005 Human Trafficking Act. The project, funded by the French Embassy in Ghana and implemented by IOM, includes contributions from government, United Nations and civil society experts.

Some 2,000 booklets are being disseminated through district level structures to motivate communities to take ownership of the law and make positive use of it to protect their communities and children.

“Beyond pure information sharing, we hope that this new tool will make the communities play a more proactive role in child protection. Communities have an inner desire to protect their own and this is what we are trying to mobilize for more effective human trafficking prevention,” said Sylvia Lopez-Ekra, IOM Chief of Mission in Ghana.

French Ambassador to Ghana Francois Pujolas noted: “The programme has a strong regional dimension, with several cross borders activities also aimed at strengthening West African regional coordination.”

By focusing on grassroots awareness, the initiative aims to empower community leaders, parents and witnesses to act and seek help from local authorities, especially social welfare departments and the police.

This will not only increase the likelihood of rescues – it will also prevent the trafficking of many children to begin with. 

The launch took place at a local school in Kpeyibor, in the North Tongu District, Volta Region and was attended by over 150 community members, as well as key national, regional and district level government officials.

The booklet launch concludes IOM’s French-funded project: Increasing Public Knowledge of the Ghanaian Human Trafficking Law.

For further information please contact Alex Billings at IOM Ghana, Tel. +233 302 742 930, Email: abillings@iom.int

(From left to right, back row) Sylvia Lopez-Ekra, IOM Ghana Chief of Mission, François Pujolas, French Ambassador to Ghana, Victoria Natsu, Head of Ghana’s Human Trafficking Secretariat and other guests launching the new trafficking prevention booklet with children in Kpeyibor, Volta Region, Ghana.