The number of human trafficking victims in Ghana increased to 831 in 2021 as compared to 587 the previous year, the Human Trafficking Secretariat of the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection, has announced.
According to the Ministry, the number of investigations also increased from 87 in 2020 to 108 in 2021, while prosecutions increased from 13 in 2020 compared to 22 done last year.
Madam Lariba Zuleira Abudu, the sector Deputy Minister, who was addressing the opening session of a capacity-building training programme, at Fumesua, in the Ejisu Municipality of the Ashanti region, said the Government was committed to curbing the menace.
Human trafficking, she said, was a global canker, therefore, stakeholders ought to work together to identify and deal with the issue head-on.
The three-day programme has been put together by the Ministry in collaboration with the European Union (EU) and Expertise France, an international agency, to deepen the knowledge of security agencies on human trafficking and irregular migration.
It would discuss topics on human rights issues, victim identification, rescue operations, victim protection and investigations, amongst others.
Madam Abudu, who is also the Minister-designate for Gender, Children and Social Protection, said the training had been designed to equip the law enforcement agencies to effectively implement the Human Trafficking Act 2005 (Act 694).
She indicated that a National Plan of Action had been launched to deal decisively with human trafficking issues in all their forms.
The Plan, according to her, had been structured in a way to whip up a public understanding of the complexity of human trafficking and irregular migration.
This is expected to improve the detection, investigations and prosecutions of suspected human traffickers and smugglers.
Mr Serge Akpalou, an official of Expertise France, said the COVID-19 pandemic and global economic recession had further exacerbated human trafficking.
Therefore, the French International Agency would not relent in working with stakeholders to address the issue.
Chief Superintendent Mike Baah, of the National Headquarters, Ghana Police Service, urged the participants to take the training programme seriously to reduce to the barest minimum the incidence of human trafficking.