SONA 2018: Lacking Initiative In Human Trafficking

In fulfilment of Article 67 of the 1992 constitution, the President of the Republic of Ghana, His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo delivered before parliament, his second state of the nation's address (SONA).

The president acknowledged the work done in stabilizing the economy; education- implementing the Free SHS; agriculture- enhancing road networks, reviving the country's rail network; health; and the fight against corruption etc. Also notable was what he left out.

Over the years there have been progressive work in gender empowerment with less effort in tackling issues of human trafficking. The President expressed his support for the "HeforShe" campaign and the Gender and Development Initiative for Africa (GADIA).

"In the meantime, I have thrown my full weight behind the "HeforShe" campaign, and the Gender and Development Initiative for Africa (GADIA), an initiative stemming from my position as the AfricanUnion's Gender Champion"

This is not the same for other areas of human development and security. As a Centre that works to promote human development and security, we bemoan the progress of work done, especially in the area of human trafficking.

Acknowledging how social initiatives like the "HeforShe", Gender and Development Initiative for Africa (GADIA) and economic activities plays an important role in curbing Human Trafficking activities in Ghana, Eban Centre for Human Trafficking Studies believes the dynamic and complex nature of Human Trafficking needs direct and immediate attention from government.
Ghanaian women are incessantly trafficked for the purpose of forced labor and commercial sexual exploitation. Ghana is now a source, transit and a destination country for trafficked young females in the sub-region. For most Ghanaian women, cross border trafficking or illegal migrant smuggling is connected with fraudulent recruitment agencies, recruiting young females to the Arab world, notably, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia to do non-existent jobs. This trend is an indictment of Ghana's human security values.

Although there has been works done in fighting human trafficking such as the passage of domestic laws and the ratification of international conventions; policies such as the National Action Plan on Human Trafficking; and partnerships such as the ongoing compact between the Government of Ghana and the Government of the United States of America, governments have failed to capture the progress of work and contemporary initiatives in the fight against human trafficking.

We expected the SONA to throw light on the above efforts by government in fighting human trafficking. Also, due to the rise in force labor and commercial sexual exploitation of Ghanaian women abroad, we expected government to have started work in streamlining the activities of fraudulent travel recruitment agencies. This we believe would sensitize the public on their negative activities fueling human trafficking.

We therefore hope that the government would throw light and weight behind the work of human trafficking in Ghana. Ending human trafficking in both its causes and consequences should be a matter of urgency for the government of Ghana. Fostering partnership both local and international, to bring about prompt prosecution and a possible conviction to deter would be traffickers should be a top most aspiration of the government of Ghana.

Ending human trafficking in both its causes and consequences should be a matter of urgency for the government of Ghana. Fostering partnership both local and international, to bring about prompt prosecution and a possible conviction to deter would be traffickers should be a top most aspiration of the government of Ghana.