Cape Coast- A senior lecturer at the University of Cape Coast (UCC) Faculty of Law, Dr Kwadwo Addo Tuffour has described the work of state institutions working for the elimination of child labour and trafficking in the country as unsatisfactory”.
He has subsequently called on the Ministry of Gender, Child and Social Protection (MGCSP), Social Welfare and the Domestic Violence and Victims Support Unit (DOVVSU) of the Ghana Police Service to intensify their education and surveillance to rescue children being trafficked.
According to him, even though the constitution made it clear that slavery and servitude should be abolished, some children were being trafficked and forced into hard labour in Ghana due to poverty.
Dr Tuffour who was speaking at the first edition of a regional children and youth conference organised by Engage Now Africa (ENA) in Cape Coast said law enforcement agencies must be up and doing to enforce the law to curb the prevalence of child slavery.
The conference, on the theme Harnessing Youth’s Power to Creating Child Trafficking-free Ghana, was aimed at raising advocates to sensitise and educate people about modern day slavery.
According to a global slavery index 2016, about 45.8 million people are trapped in modern slavery and also more than 49 thousand children are being used in force labour on Lake Volta of which over 21,000 are into hazardous labour.
The same report also indicated that more than 100, 000 Ghanaians were in modern slavery.
According to Dr Tuffour, Ghana had enough punitive laws, which when enforced could deter perpetrators from engaging in the shameful act.
Under the human trafficking Act, offenders could be punished for five to 20 years.
Dr Tuffour who is also a private legal practitioner, questioned why the law enforcement agencies, the Social Welfare and the gender ministry have not put in enough monitoring groups to monitor the implementation of the law.
He said even though poverty was the underlying factor that encouraged parents to sell their children into slavery, he encouraged parents especially mothers to plan well and decide on the number of children they would be able to take care of and take concrete steps to cater for them.
Mr David Kofi Awusi, Director of End Modern Slavery at Engage Now Africa (ENA) said the high prevalence rate of modern slavery required urgent and pragmatic measures to tackle because it could destroy the human capital base of the country.
He said ENA aimed at eradicating all forms of slavery and child trafficking in the country and as part of its activities rescue victims of child slavery put them through rehabilitation and reintegrate the back to their families.
Mr Awusi indicated that 10 children have been rescued by ENA since 2016 and have since been reintegrated into their communities; however, efforts were being made to ensure they did not go back to slavery.
Source: Ghana News Agency