The campaign by Engage Africa Now (ENA) dubbed ‘End Modern Slavery’ is aimed at raising awareness among the general public so that they can lead the efforts to halt this criminal activity.
More than 190,000 people are believed to be in slave-like conditions in Ghana; according to the Global Slavery Index. Research by the International Labour Organization found that an alarming 49,000 children are engaged in work on Lake Volta alone while 21,000 of that number are involved in work described as “hazardous.”
According to the Assistant Director of ENA, David Awusi, poverty is the central cause of human trafficking. In an interview with pulse.com.gh, he said “there is a strong relationship between poverty and human trafficking and for Engage Africa, fighting poverty is our main focus. So we are adopting the PEERED approach in this fight.” PEERED is the acronym for Participate, Educate, Engage, Restore and Deter.
Eric Peasah, the executive director of Right To Be Free and a member of the Human Trafficking Board believes that PEERED will “help civil society and other organisations combat the problem from many other angles and we have agreed to collaborate with them (ENA) at all levels in terms of education, rescue, rehabilitation and advocacy.”
Although the Human Trafficking Act was passed in 2005, reports about Ghanaians being trafficked are very common in the news. Aside the well-known situation on Lake Volta, many young people have been trafficked to countries such as Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Lebanon. African countries such as South Africa and Nigeria are also popular destinations for human traffickers.
On July 30, the country will join the rest of the world to celebrate Human Trafficking Day.