On 18 February, The European Union (EU), in collaboration with Expertise France, has launched an €18 million project to support the fight against human trafficking in Ghana, Nigeria, Benin, Togo, Ivory Coast and Guinea.
In Ghana, the project will be implemented in collaboration with the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection (MGCSP) and will take into consideration measures to prevent human trafficking, offer protection, as well as prosecute culprits engaged in the act.
Countries involved in the fight will also be supported through the strengthening of their institutions and civil society organisations to build their capacities. State institutions will be particularly supported to effectively enforce laws, protect victims adequately and strengthen regional cooperation.
At the launch of the initiative in the Ghanian capital, Accra, the Deputy Minister of the MGCSP, Ms Freda Prempeh, expressed her profound gratitude to the EU for the initiative. She said Ghana was a receipt, transit and destination country and was, as a result, characterised by patterns of cross-border and irregular migration, human trafficking, child exploitation, among other violations.
Ms Prempeh said although such challenges were having a negative impact on the country, the government had not relented in its effort and responded to the issue in diverse ways. She explained that a Human Trafficking Act had been enacted, with the objective to suppress illegality, punish perpetrators and develop strategies to rescue, rehabilitate and reintegrate victims. In addition, she said, a Human Trafficking (HT) Secretariat had also been established to coordinate all human trafficking activities in Ghana.
The Head of the UN Delegation in Ghana, Ms Diana Acconcia, gave a background of the project and highlighted that “individuals and families should have the right to decide to migrate or not, and if they wish to do so, it should always be through regular channels. Lives should not be jeopardised because people are listening to the promises of dream sellers who fake, and are, in fact, the producers of the true nightmare”.