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Ghana: Human Trafficking

(July 2, 2008) Despite significant efforts, Ghana falls short of complying with minimum, international standards against human trafficking, a U.S. State Department report released on June 8, 2008, stated. The report, which depicts Ghana as “a source, transit, and destination country for children and women trafficked for the purposes of forced labor and commercial sexual exploitation,” says that “trafficking within Ghana is more prevalent than across international borders.” The report also states that Ghana has been given the middle ranking of a “tier 2 country” by the State Department mainly because of “limited assistance programs available for victims, trouble with prosecutions, and bribing of law enforcement into complacency and the fact that no convictions had occurred.” The report praises the Ghanaian government, however, for establishing a board that is in the process of introducing a national action plan to control trafficking.

The report makes eight recommendations aimed at further combating human trafficking in Ghana:

• strengthen overall efforts to prosecute and convict traffickers;

• investigate and close down brothels selling children into prostitution and prosecute brothel operators;

• suspend government officials accused of complicity from their official duties until they can be prosecuted or cleared of allegations;

• develop a system for providing secure care for rescued sex-trafficking victims;

• increase shelter space for trafficking victims;

• train government social workers to identify trafficking victims among girls and women in prostitution;

• increase coordination between police and government social workers in conducting trafficking raids and rescues; and

• fulfill commitments to the international community to work with private cocoa- producing regions to measure the incidence of the worst forms of child labor and forced adult labor by July 2008.

(US Report Says Ghana Not Following Global Standards Against Human Trafficking, AFP, June 9, 2008, Open Source Center No. AFP20080610565006.)