Dr. Archibald Yao Letsa, the Volta Regional Minister, has commended International Justice Mission Ghana (IJM), an anti-human-trafficking organization, for its determination towards ending human trafficking in the country.
He said the continuous support to government institutions towards the fight against human trafficking was laudable.
Dr. Letsa said this during this year’s National Justice Conference at Ho in the Volta Region organized by IJM Ghana.
The conference discussed practical solutions and re-energized stakeholders to continue the fight to rescue vulnerable children on lake Volta.
“I wish to express our profound gratitude to IJM for the inviolable support it has given in the efforts to end Human Trafficking in Ghana. We say a big thank you to IJM,” he said.
He, however, expressed concern about the activities of fishermen who recruit school-going children some as young as six years old and engaged them on the Volta Lake for fishing.
Dr. Letsa stated that such recruitments were done with the tacit support of parents of the innocent children while others were recruited by deceit by the traffickers, who promise to take good care of those children and end up trafficking them.
He said to fight the social menace, Parliament enacted the Human Trafficking Act, 2005 (Act 694) to criminalize the act of enslaving others with the purpose of exploiting them economically or sexually.
The Volta Regional Minister emphasized that the enforcement of the law remained a challenge due to the lack of logistics to facilitate the activities of the Ghana Police Service, which is supposed to visit the Islands and other remote communities to investigate and effect arrest of suspects.
“The good news, however, is that IJM has intervened and provided enormous support not only to the Ghana Police service but the Office of the Attorney-General and other Law enforcing agents involved in the investigation, arrest, prosecution of suspects and the protection of victims of Human Trafficking,” he said.
Dr. Letsa, therefore, called on all persons to support the fight against human trafficking in diverse ways as the Government was determined to end the menace.
Speaking in an interview with the Ghana News Agency, Mr. Worlanyo Foster, the National Director of Advocacy and Partnerships, said the core mission of the IJM Ghana office is to work with law enforcement and other state agencies to rescue children, who have fallen victim to child trafficking on the Volta Lake, restore such victims and facilitate the prosecution of the perpetrators.
He noted that IJM had partnered with relevant government agencies since 2015 to ensure the rescue of 366 victims and the arrest of 228 perpetrators.