By Kodjo Adams/Anthony Brukum, GNA
Accra, July 28, GNA - Mr Robert Jackson, the Ambassador of the United States of America, has called for coordinated engagement between anti-trafficking civil society organisations and community members to give timely information to the police to fight human trafficking.
The Ambassador said the collaboration was critical because it would give freedom to more than 100,000 people that were suffering in forced labour and sexual slavery.
Mr Jackson made the call on Thursday at a national symposium to end child trafficking in the country organised by the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection in partnership with the Free the Slaves and the Right to be Free, a Non-Governmental Organisation.
He said each sector must play an active role in addressing the issue and that through complementary action the country could maximise resources and make a stand against the traffickers.
The Ambassador was of the view that, due to the enormous scale of the human trafficking in the country, it was imperative that members of the public play an active role in the fight against the traffickers.
“We need to improve awareness of the ploys traffickers use to lure and capture their victims and that the level of impunity for traffickers both in the country and across the world was not encouraging enough,” he said.
He said survivors of child labour and slavery deserve justice and one way to achieve that was to prosecute the traffickers.
“Justice for victims of trafficking means ensuring that they are provided the comprehensive and compassionate care required. They need assistance to reintegrate into their communities and find a pathway to educational, vocational and economic opportunities,” he said.
He urged government to work with civil society to dedicate resources to build new shelters and improve the care given at the shelters that currently exist.
Mr Eric Peasah, the Executive Director of Right to be Free, said desperate parents sent their children away with traffickers when they saw no viable option to care for them at home, in exchange for up-front payment.
He said government signed a Child Protection Compact Partnership with United States to facilitate an investment of five million dollars to aid government and civil society organisations to reduce child trafficking and slavery.
Mr Peasah said the NGO had established a campaign dubbed: “Growing up Free” that focused on children enslaved in the Volta, Greater Accra and Central regions.
He said the initiative facilitate the formation and implementation of a comprehensive and integrated plan for prevention, rescue, prosecution, rehabilitation and the development of market-based livelihoods for vulnerable families.