The US Department of State 2015 Human Trafficking Report, released yesterday July 28, 2015 describes Ghana as a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking.
The report also notes that child prostitution is prevalent in the Volta region and is growing in the oil-producing western regions of the country.
It states among other things that Ghanaian girls are subjected to a form of forced ritual servitude to atone for sins of a family member, which can last for a few months or several years – referring to the traditional system common in some parts of the Volta Region known as ‘Trokosi’.
According to the report, there has been an increase in the number of Ghanaian girls and young women from the northern region working as head porters in greater Accra; “they are at risk for sex trafficking and forced labor,” it said.
The report mentioned the Human Trafficking Fund which has been established to support victims of trafficking, but indicated that it has not received any fund.
It said, “The Human Trafficking Fund, which was established by the 2005 Human Trafficking Act to finance protection efforts, was unfunded for the third consecutive year; shelters operated in seriously dilapidated conditions without the resources to make basic repairs, and government officials used donor and their own personal funds to assist victims.”
The report however acknowledged the Ghana government’s interest in curbing the menace. It said “the government demonstrated a modest increase in anti-trafficking prevention efforts.”
By Emmanuel K. Dogbevi