COCOBOD to support Action Aid and GAWU to combat modern slavery

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General Agricultural Workers' Union

Mr Edward Okoh Ampofo, a Board member of Ghana Cocoa Board, says the Board  will support the implementation of Combating Modern Slavery project being championed by Action Aid Ghana and General Agricultural Workers’ Union (GAWU).

General Agricultural Workers' UnionHe, therefore, called on stakeholders to request for support in fighting the menace of modern slavery to bring it down to the barest minimum in the country.

Mr Ampofo said there was the decision to have a partnership with Action Aid Ghana on a project called “Modern Slavery” to help combat it.

Mr Ampofo, who is also the National Chairman for General Agricultural Workers’ Union (GAWU) was speaking at a round-table on “Working together against human trafficking in Ghana, our successes and challenges,” prior to the World Day Against human trafficking in Persons.

The Day is observed annually on July 30 to raise awareness about human trafficking and to promote and protect the rights of trafficking victims.

This year’s event is on the theme: “Use and abuse of technology.”

The discussion was for stakeholders to share their works and some success stories, and to discuss new strategies for combating its occurrences and the role of stakeholders.

The project funded by the Norwegian Agency for Development Corporation is to facilitate the implementation of ways to identify, prevent and address modern slavery to the barest minimum.

Mr Ampofo said during their last Board meeting, they discussed issues regarding child trafficking and child labour because the Board would want to give the needed attention to these issues to avoid the risk of the international markets boycotting the country’s Cocoa.

“Management is prepared to permit funding to be able to support any institution and NGO’s that will help them to deal with such issues,” he said.

Mr Ampofo called for effective collaboration amongst the Ghana Police Service, Ghana Immigration Service, Department of Social Welfare, and other NGOs, to address the issues.

Chief Superintendent Mike Baah, the Director of Anti-Human Trafficking at the Ghana Police Service, said as an institution and the lead agency in the fight against all forms of crimes and they work with other stakeholders to combat human trafficking in Ghana.

He said the Unit had been able to open offices of such about 11 police regions out of the 18 police regions and it was their goal to extend the offices to the remaining regions.

Chief Supt Baah noted that some of the challenges faced by the Service was shelter, logistics and medical care, especially in the regions and districts, where there were no police clinics.

He called on Ghana Health Service, health facilities and private medical practitioners within the affected localities to also see it as their corporate social responsibility to help provide medical care for the victims who need medical attention.

Superintendent Albertha Ankrah, the Head of Anti-Human Smuggling and Trafficking in Persons Unit at the Ghana Immigration Service, said their mandate as a Unit was to be able to arrest, prosecute and do interceptions across the borders when it comes to those being forced into the country.

Supt. Ankrah said, in combatting modern slavery, they work by using Prevention, Protection, Prosecution and Partnership mechanisms.

She also said the Service was unable to perform their duties to educate the public about illegal migration due to logistics and funding arrangements.

GNA

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