European Union gives to Immigration Service and Police CID
The European Union (EU) on Monday presented Information and Communication Technology (ICT) equipment to the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS) and the Anti-Human Trafficking Unit (AHTU) of the Criminal Investigation Department of the Ghana Police Service.
The items worth GH¢363,000, would facilitate work at the Thematic Programme on Migration and Asylum, an EU funded Project for the GIS and the AHTU of Ghana Police Service.
It would assist the GIS to establish an ultra modern ICT Laboratory for the Immigration Service Academy and Training School in Assin-Fosu, expand the GIS Migration Information Bureau towards a fully fledged Migration Resource Centre in Ghana, and establish an Anti-Human Smuggling and Trafficking in persons (AHSTIP) Desk in Kulungugu in the Upper East Region to expand the operation of the Unit.
In addition to that, the programme intends to resource the Head Office of the Anti-Human Trafficking Unit of the CID Headquarters in Accra, and to support its nationwide expansion project.
The project was initiated three years ago by the GIS to effectively disrupt organised irregular migration operations through capacity building and operational support of its partner agencies.
Acting Director of GIS, Commissioner of Police Dr Peter Wiredu, said regardless of the numerous challenges facing the service and the daunting tasks of meeting its organizational aspirations, the GIS would continue to work tirelessly towards ensuring the successful implementation of the project.
He said the project which was mainly sponsored by the EU, had made significant strides towards achieving the overall objectives of the programme.
Dr Wiredu said the programme had over the past two years, trained over 250 Officers and personnel from the participating agencies in critical areas such as Intelligence, Document Fraud Detention, Anti-Human Smuggling and trafficking in Persons, Project Management and on cross-cutting issues like Anti-corruption, Gender, HIV/AIDS, Human Rights and Good Governance.
He said the programme also produced 10 Document Fraud Experts/Trainers who had been gazetted as expert witnesses, and that 15 Anti-Human Smuggling and Trafficking Experts/Trainers had also been trained for the Service and personnel of some participating agencies.
Furthermore, 25 Intelligence Experts/Trainers had also been trained under the programme and currently training was ongoing to turn out 30 Investigators of cases of human smuggling and trafficking, out of which 10 or more would be further trained as prosecutors, he said.
Dr Wiredu said plans were underway to increase the number of officers trained in these specialised areas of operation of the Service.
Mr Kwesi Ahwoi, Minister of the Interior, said there was the need to resource personnel and State agencies tasked with the responsibility of protecting the borders, lives and property as criminal syndicates increasingly became sophisticated.
He, therefore, recommended the EU for the strategic and beneficial partnership to enhance the operational and administrative effectiveness of the Service.
Head of EU delegation in Ghana, Mr Judikael Regnaut, said the equipment had been procured under an EU funded project known as “Countering Human Smuggling and Other Irregular Migration in Ghana.”
He said the EU migration policy had been developing very rapidly over the past few years and it had taken a prominent place in the dialogue and cooperation with third countries including in the context of development policy.
He said trafficking in human beings was an extremely serious crime and a gross violation of human rights, which could be classified as a modern form of slavery, and it had been a priority for the EU to help to combat the crime.
Mr Regnaut expressed the hope that the support the GIS and the Ghana Police had received would enhance their capacities in dealing with the crime by developing new threat assessment methodologies, defining intervention priorities and establishing links with national security strategies, as well as with regional security strategies to respond to emerging threats and react more quickly to the new forms of human trafficking.