Human trafficking is a global scourge that affects all-Expertise France

Mr Alessandro Rabbiosi, Project Director, Expertise France, the French Agency for international technical expertise, has expressed concern about the growing menace of human trafficking, describing it as a ‘global scourge that affects all.’

He said the serious violation of human rights affecting millions of people, including children, women and men, required a collective effort from governments, international organisations and civil society to prevent, protect and prosecute.

Mr Rabbiosi was speaking at the inaugural ceremony of the Aflao Transitional Shelter, a renovated building to serve as a transit place where victims of human trafficking could be taken in, counseled and given a chance to rebuild their lives.

The inauguration marked the official closure of the five-year Regional Project to Support the Fight against Trafficking in Persons in Six Gulf of Guinea Countries (Togo, Benin, Ivory Coast, Guinea, Ghana and Nigeria) in strengthening their actions and capacities for a targeted and effective fight ag
ainst human trafficking.

The project implemented by Expertise France with funding from European Union (EU) and France was organised around four components: institutional and operational consolidation and preventive actions, law enforcement, victim protection and regional cooperation.

The Project Director appreciated the donor, and the Ghanaian national partners, among others, for their pivotal roles in the implementation of the project, noting, the transit shelter at Aflao would be strategic in the fight against human trafficking and hoped it would be followed by ‘many more actions and successes in the fight against human trafficking in Ghana.’

‘Child trafficking, sexual exploitation, labour exploitation, organ trade, domestic servitude, street begging, are unfortunately a reality. And Aflao being especially a border town is not spared by this reality more so as West Africa is characterised by a pattern of cross-border and circular trafficking.

Everyone’s commitment in the fight against human trafficking
is primordial.’

Madam Dakoa Newman, Minister of Gender, Children, and Social Protection (MoGCSP), expressed government’s profound gratitude to the international organisations for the project, which included the renovation of shelters and office to improve victim care.

She said the rescue of victims was a crucial component of a comprehensive strategy to fight human trafficking as ‘Ghana is known to be a source, transit and destination country for trafficking victims.’

Dr Afisah Zakariah, Chief Director for MoGCSP, said the inauguration marked a very significant moment as it would address the inadequate shelter challenge faced by government and law enforcement agencies, saying, currently, ‘there are only two government operated shelters for victims of human trafficking’ and even with that two, no shelter for male adult victims.

Madam Anna Lixi, Head of Governance and Security Sector, EU Delegation to Ghana said the EU was greatly concerned about human trafficking and appreciated the good results achieved by
the five-year project, adding that with the inauguration of Aflao Transitional Shelter, ‘we put at the centre of our interventions the protection of victims.’

Source: Ghana News Agency