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Human trafficking business booms … As security on illegal drug trade tightens

It has emerged that drug magnates around the world including Ghana have shifted their attention to the business of human trafficking after security on illegal drug trade is tightened across various transit points.

The shift has come as a result of the low capital investment and less security stress of the human trafficking business compared to drug trade which involves a lot of scrutiny at various transitdestinations.

According to experts, human trafficking business is currently the second most lucrative business   around the world apart from illegal Arms trade.

The trade reportedly generates a profit of $32 billion every year. Of that amount, $15.5 billion is made in industrialized countries. The International Labour Organization estimates that women and girls represent the largest share of forced labor victims with 11.4 million trafficked victims (55%) compared to 9.5 million (45%) men.

Speaking to Public Agenda after a workshop organized in Accra by Abantu for Development last week, Mr  Adolf Bekoe, Convener  of  the  Domestic  Violence   Coalition encouraged  the  government  to intensify   its  monitoring mechanisms in order to curb  the emerging trend of human trafficking.

Mr Bekoe said, “If you  read the literature from Mexico and  South  East Asia, because  the enforcement of  drug  laws  have  become so  tight, trafficking of  persons  is now where they  are shifting to. Because, “It doesn’t involve so much money and the world does not come with the same intensity of monitoring.So the people are sneaking through.”

He explained that, “the cost of trafficking someone is less than producing drugs and shipping across borders with all those security. Soif you read the literature across all these countries you will realise that, drug traffickers are now shifting to human trafficking.”

Asked whether the  situation is  the same  in Ghana,  Mr Bekoe  responded, “in Ghana it  will be far-fetched  for  me  to be specific  but you know  this criminal activities  is  networked   and  so  it can be   part  though I’m  not saying  it is.  If other countries are observing this then, maybe we need to open our eyes.”

He added,“If we are not recording as much drug trafficking  issues, then  we  need to know where  they  have  gone  to  so that we  will track them. Because that is what is emerging   from studies across the world.”

The workshop was on strengthening advocacy Against Trafficking of young girls in Ghana

Ghana is considered as a source, transit and destination country for women, men  girls  and  boys  subjected to human  trafficking  in persons, specifically for  forced  labour  and  forced  prostitution  and  has been classified  on the ‘Tier 2 Watch  List’ according to the  2016  trafficking in Person  Report.

Addressing participants at the  workshop’Mrs. Victoria  Natsu, Executive Secretary, Domestic Violence  and  human Trafficking  Secretariat indicated  that, there are  about 2miliion  people trapped  in  modern day slavery, a situation she  described  as worrying and need critical attention.

Mrs. Natsu stressed, “it is time for a big shift and to say a big no to human trafficking and we must confront it from all fronts”

In her opinion, government over the years has been“working tirelessly to curb the menace through Prevention, Protection Prosecution and Partnership approaches.”

She  pointed  out that though  government is doing its  best  to deal with  the situation,  there  is  the  need  for continuous collaboration among key stakeholders, adding, that  “no  one  institution can fight human trafficking.”

She indicated  that   local  authorities also  have a responsibility to help stop  human trafficking by working with the Gender   on relevant campaigns, raising awareness   of  the risks  of  human trafficking  as well as working with civil society organizations   to assist with the   reintegration  and rehabilitation  of trafficked  persons  and issuing by- laws  to help  prevent  trafficking.

On her part, Dr Rose Mensah Kutin, Executive Director of Abantu for Development, emphasized the need to strengthen advocacy against trafficking of Women and young girls in Ghana.

Dr Kutin bemoaned that in spite of Ghana’s recognition as a democratic state, international   human and women’s rights are not fully adhered to with regard to the implementation of national legislations and policies.As a result of this, she said, women continue to contend with discriminatory laws and practices.  To this end she   said, ‘It is necessary   to implement   counter trafficking actions and programmes through enhanced advocacy.








By Mohammed Suleman



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