Ghana has been ranked a Tier 2 Watch List country in the 2017 Trafficking in Persons report released on Tuesday by the United States government.
The report, themed “Enhancing Criminal Accountability and Addressing Challenges in Prosecution Efforts,” is an effort to encourage global efforts to end human slavery around the world.
It includes profiles of 187 countries and territories.Ghana did not meet the full standards to end human trafficking in 2016, but has shown that it is making significant efforts in that direction.
The country completed a written plan of action to end national trafficking, that if successful, would meet the minimum standards to maintain its rank. Therefore, it was granted a waiver that prevents it from being downgraded to Tier 3. If downgraded in next year’s report, it will be subjected to restrictions on U.S. assistance.
The U.S. funds several projects in Ghana to end human trafficking, including the Child Protection Compact (CPC) Partnership signed by former President Mahama and former U.S. Ambassador to Ghana Gene Cretz.
The Partnership is a multi-year plan to improve Ghana’s current efforts to address child sex trafficking and forced child labor within Ghana. It awarded $5 million in U.S. foreign assistance to the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and NGO Free the Slaves to combat forced child labor and child sex trafficking in the Volta, Central, and Greater Accra regions.
But comments from the U.S. Ambassador to Ghana Robert Jackson drew attention to more than just financial aid.
“The theme of this year’s report says it all: traffickers must be held criminally accountable. Unless Ghanaians work with law enforcement and the courts to bring traffickers to justice, they will continue to commit these horrific crimes. This isn’t about what the United States wants Ghana to do. It’s about Ghanaian men, women and children who are suffering because traffickers are allowed to violate Ghana’s laws and morality,” the ambassador said.
The annual report also describes the scope of human trafficking in each country, the efforts of each government to end trafficking, and discusses important issues related to human trafficking.
By: Joy Notoma/citifmonline.com/Ghana