Parents and traffickers connive to traffic children
Assistant Superintendent of Immigration (ASI) Paul Atubiga has disclosed that some parents deliberately connived with traffickers to secure travel documents for their children to move them out of the country.
“These parents support and allow strangers to act as parents of their children marching them off into the passport office to secure travel documents for them to receive mere token from those traffickers,” he said.
ASI Atubiga further expressed worry at the country of destination, those victims of trafficking, smuggling and irregular migration become subjects of human rights abusers and subject them to rape, while body organs like kidneys of others were harvested when injected with some chemical substances that disabled them to allow such con men to work on their bodies.
“The harvested body organs are used to treat ailments of “big men” in those host countries,” he added.
ASI Atubiga made the revelation at a kick-off meeting, jointly organised by the BOK Africa Concern, a Berekum-based non-governmental organisation (NGO) and the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS) in partnership with the International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD), Ghana.
The meeting which attracted key actors like opinion leaders of selected rural communities, traditional rulers, leaders of Ghana Society of Physically Challenged of Bono and Bono East, migrant associations/groups and hairdressers was towards the implementation of the inclusive preventive action on border security (SIPABS) project in the two regions.
The SIPABS initiative, under the Strengthening Border Security (SBS) Project of the ICMPD being funded by the European Union Emergency Trust Fund (EUTF) aims at reducing and eliminating the occurrence of irregular migration and human trafficking in the two regions.
It also seeks to promote dialogue and active collaboration between communities, civil society and traditional authorities and institutions, especially border management agencies and local authorities.
ASI Atubiga added: “The GIS often tries to intervene to intercept these children and carry out further probe to establish the children’s actual parents.”
Mr. Benson Osei Savio Boateng, the Executive Director, BOK Africa Concern, stated the NGO operated in seven thematic areas including capacity development, green economy, youth empowerment, agriculture, rural development, gender and social inclusion.
Mr. Boateng said the NGO mainly focused on rehabilitation and re-integration of victims of trafficking, returnee migrants and people in difficult situations.
“Community-based projects collectively support young people by offering training in agriculture, awareness campaigns and advocacy. Some 300 farmers have received training in agriculture, weedicide production and biology entomology,” he stated.
Madam Eunice Adofo Boanya, Project Officer, ICMPD Ghana said the International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD) is an international organisation with 19-member states and more than 350 staff members and active in more than 90 countries worldwide.
Mad. Boanya said the organisation took a regional approach in its work to create efficient cooperation and partnerships along migration routes.
“Priority regions include Africa, Central and South Asia, Europe and the Middle East. Its three-pillar approach to migration management – structurally linking research, migration dialogues and capacity building contributes to better migration policy development worldwide,” she added.
Making a presentation on awareness campaign and toolkit, Madam Francisca Owusu Kyeremaa, Campaign Team Leader, BOK Africa Concern observed that Ghana had become a transit destination and a source for human trafficking of mostly vulnerable groups such as youth, women and children becoming victims particularly in communities in the Bono and Bono Regions.