Accra, Aug. 08, GNA – The SEWA Foundation, a non-governmental organisation, has called on the Hajj Board to ensure that Pilgrims did not indulge in trafficking of young Ghanaians to the Gulf cities.
A statement signed by Mr Jones Owusu Yeboah, the President of SEWA Foundation and copied to the Ghana News Agency, said Muslims all over the world are preparing for this year’s Hajj Pilgrimage in the Saudi Arabia city of Mecca, with about 6,200 Ghanaian pilgrims expected to embark on this Holy journey, starting from August 10.
The statement said as the Pilgrims prepared to embark on this Holy Journey to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, some people were also taking advantage of the Journey to recruit young Ghanaian women for domestic service or hospitality industry jobs in Gulf countries.
“Already, in Ghana, there are about three hundred (300) illegal agencies operating. These illegal migration operators are causing harm through reckless illegal scams in the country,” it stated.
It said the Foundation had information from some victims which clearly showed that some Pilgrims were into this heinous business as they prepared to enter the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
It said “sadly, these Ghanaian young women and children are then recruited and sent to the Middle East, West Africa, and Europe for forced labour and sex trafficking.
“This Holy Journey is purposely meant for prayers; not to traffic people,” he stated.
It said the SEWA Foundation would work closely with all the Anti-Human Trafficking Unit of the Ghana Police Service and other stakeholders to clampdown on the menace before it skyrocketed.
“Already, Ghana has been ranked as a Tier-2 watch list by the US. Ghana’s status on the Tier 2 watch list means that, it does not fully meet the Trafficking Victims Protection Act’s (TVPA) minimum standards, but is making significant efforts to meet those standards.
“More so, United Nations (UN) General Assembly has adopted the Global Plan of Action to Combat Trafficking in Persons and established a UN Voluntary Trust Fund for victims of trafficking, particularly women and children, who make up 75 per cent of all victims,” the statement said.
SEWA Foundation is a non-governmental organization committed to the eradication of human trafficking and modern day slavery.
Focused on contributing to the reduction of the causes of human trafficking and child slavery, it operates in the areas of anti-human trafficking, anti-human smuggling, prevention of child abuse and child labour in Ghana.