Professor Aaron Michael Ocquaye has observed that human trafficking and forced labour is one of the highest crimes against humanity in modern times with diverse negative socio-economic, legal and health implications.
Human trafficking and forced labour, he indicated, is a global canker that requires all hands-on deck to curtail the menace.
Speaker of Parliament, Professor Mike Ocquaye said these when he officially opened a Commonwealth Parliamentarians Associations (CPA UK) workshop in partnership with the Ghana Parliament at the La Palm Royal Beach Hotels on Tuesday.
The three-day workshop explores the role of Parliamentarians and Clerks from Africa, the UK and the Caribbean in combating human trafficking and forced labour.
Human trafficking and forced labour, he said, undermines extended family ties especially in Africa where this family system is highly practised.
“The forced absence of women leads to the breakdown of families and neglect of children and the aged and when children are trafficked into forced labour, it affects their personal development,” he stated.
According to him efforts are being carried out at the regional, sub-regional and state levels to combat human trafficking and forced labour.
He indicated that measures put in place by the African Union (AU) to combat the phenomenon include prevention and awareness raising, capacity building for institutions, training of criminal justice system officials and protection and rehabilitation centers for victims of trafficking.
Speaker Mike Ocquaye revealed that Ghana’s effort at combating this crime includes the establishment of a Human Trafficking Secretariat (HTS) to provide sensitization to the public to reduce all instances of trafficking.
According to him, an Anti-Human Trafficking Unit (AHTU) and Anti- Human Smuggling and Trafficking in Persons Unit (AHSTIP) have been established within the Ghana Police Service and Ghana Immigration Service respectively as part of the initiatives at fighting the crime.
He indicated that the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection in Ghana (MGCSP), has also developed a national information system database to keep track of cases of human trafficking to measure progress in combating human trafficking and forced labour.
Kate Osamor of the United Kingdom, in a short remark, stated that combating the scourge of exploitation affects people not only in Accra but also in London and all cities across the world.
She said it is important not to only inspire the next generation but also work hard to eradicate poverty and diseases and uplift people out of poverty because it is one of reasons why young people put themselves at the perils of traffickers.