Challenging Heights calls on the government to #StopSlaveryGhana

Challenging Heights —  July 27, 2016

The recent release of the U.S. State Department’s 2016 Trafficking in Persons Report has shown that Ghana’s government’s response to and efforts to end human trafficking do not go far enough.

According to the 2016 Global Slavery Index, there are an estimated 103,300 people in modern slavery in Ghana, and 21,000 of them are children on Lake Volta. But the picture is even bleaker for children across the country. Nearly 1.9 million children are engaged in child labour, with 1.2 million of them engaged in hazardous labour according
to the Ghana Living Standards Survey Round 6.

That is an unacceptable number of children who are deprived of their education and put in harm’s way, and indeed the only acceptable number is zero. And what has been the government’s response to these issues?

For the last four years, the Human Trafficking Fund has gone unfunded. For five years, no training had been provided to police or prosecutors to combat trafficking. This last year saw reports and complaints of corruption and bribery in the judicial system rise, but there have been no investigations into public officials related to trafficking.
Last year, while there were 238 investigations regarding trafficking, there was only 21 prosecutions. None of them resulted in a conviction.

This is shameful and Ghana deserves better. That is why we are calling on all the candidates this election season to #StopSlaveryGhana.

We’d like to see them pledge to rescue 10,000 people from modern slavery over the next four years; that’s less than 10 percent of those engaged in modern slavery. We want them to fulfill the law of having a shelter for victims of trafficking in every region of Ghana. We want them to double the number of investigations into trafficking cases, and that if the ones that are prosecuted we want a 20% conviction rate. By doing these things, the government will be able to save over $600 million in aid and move Ghana off the Tier 2 Watch List.

You can help us each reach these goals. Share this message with your friends. Tweet at your candidates asking them what they are going to do to #StopSlaveryGhana. Post on Facebook to share the knowledge that slavery still exists and that we can end it together.