Child traffickers to lose all properties besides prosecution -EOCO

Officials of law enforcement agencies, ministry of GCSP

The Economic and Organised Crimes Organisation (EOCO) has stated that all persons found guilty of child and human trafficking would not only be prosecuted and imprisoned, but their assets would also be confiscated to serve as a deterrent to others.

Mr. Dominic Mensah, Head of the Anti-Human Rights Unit at EOCO, disclosed this at a capacity building workshop for law enforcement officials on Counter-Trafficking and Irregular Migration, in conjunction with the Ministry of Gender Children and Social Protection, Expertise France, and the European Union, held in Kumasi.

According to him, there were instances a the perpetrator was arrested, prosecuted and imprisoned, yet after serving the term of paying the penalty, comes back to enjoy the booty from the inhumane act.

He emphasised that it was long overdue to begin an assessment certification of a suspect at the beginning of investigations to enable officials to unravel the properties of culprits.

Mr. Yusif Nuhu, Ashanti Regional Staff Officer of EOCO, noted that human trafficking, seen as organised crime, was on the ascendancy, hence, the need to collaborate with all the law enforcement agencies to strengthen their efforts and operations in sharing information with colleagues.

ACI Charles Yaw Bediako, Ashanti Regional Commander of Immigration, also disclosed that children who were victims of trafficking were prone to being used as terrorists and extremists, hence, the need to take issues in relation to child trafficking with all the seriousness it deserved.

According to him, victims of trafficking could easily be convinced to take anything in kind or cash to join terrorist groups, and called on the law enforcement agencies to join hands in the fight against human trafficking.

Madam Lariba Zuweiru, Minister-designated for Gender, Children and Social Protection, in her keynote address, stated that human trafficking was a global canker to which Ghana was no exception.

According to the Minister, the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection, per the National Plan of Action for the elimination of human trafficking in Ghana, was mandated to support the security agencies to attain specialised training and support to build capacities to ensure that the Human Trafficking Law was implemented.

She disclosed that the Ministry of Gender Children and Social Protection, together with its partners, had embarked upon eight zonal training programmes for their key law enforcement officers.

She indicated that under the Expertise France Project, over 375 officers had been trained, and 88 benefitted from advanced level training.

She said the Ministry, together with the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority, recently trained 140 Civil Aviation officers on Victim Identification and Counter-Trafficking Activities to ensure the airport was well secured, and victims rescued in time.

She noted that the majority of the participants were also working in border communities and towns, and expressed the hope that the training would equip them to secure the borders.

Serge Apkalou, Project Manager of Expertise France, disclosed that over the past years, together with the Human trafficking Secretariat, they had embarked upon a series of basic training across the country to build the capacities of the law enforcement agencies in the detection, investigation, prosecution, and collaboration on issues of human trafficking and irregular migration.

He said the programme had been quite interesting and impactful, journeying through the Western, Central, Volta and Oti regions.

He underscored that over the year, monitoring visits had been conducted in the Ashanti, Ahafo, Bono East, Northern, North East, and Upper East regions to understand the state of affairs as far as human trafficking and irregular migration were concerned.

Mr. Apkalou further said that those visits informed them on the need for improving capacity building, logistics, and resources amongst others to effectively tackle the issue at hand.


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