Modern day slavery rife in Ghana
This follows the release of the 2016 Trafficking in Persons Report at the US Department of State in Washington, indicating Ghana is classified as a Tier 2 Watch List country, meaning government did not fully meet minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking in persons and failed to provide evidence of increasing efforts to combat this in the past year.
If Ghana is downgraded to Tier 3 in 2017, it will become subject to restrictions on US assistance, including development aid and the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) Compact.
The US currently provides more than $140 million yearly in development aid to Ghana, while the MCC Compact is worth more than $498 million.
Other US programmes, including assistance in the areas of law enforcement; capacity building for state prosecutors; security and military assistance; and increasing the capacity of the Electoral Commission, would all be subject to restrictions.
US Ambassador to Ghana, Robert Jackson said, forced labour, child labor and sex trafficking of children and adults were major concerns in the West African country.
He said despite some investigations and awareness campaigns, Ghana did not demonstrably commit to anti-trafficking efforts in 2015.
Jackson said Ghana must increase resources invested in anti-trafficking enforcement and protection activities and track and report the results of its efforts.
“This includes investigating trafficking cases; prosecuting and convicting traffickers; and providing assistance, protection and care for adult and child victims of trafficking.”
Ghana is a country of origin, transit, and destination for women and children subjected to trafficking in persons, specifically forced labor and forced prostitution.
Internal human trafficking stands at 70 percent and cross border trafficking at 30 percent.
Some 85 percent of culprits are Ghanaians.
– CAJ News
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