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