The Deputy Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection, Madam Francisca Oteng Mensah, has called for immediate action to tackle the rise of new modes of human trafficking in the country.
During a courtesy visit by the International Justice Mission (IJM) Ghana, an NGO that supports authorities to respond to and combat human trafficking, the Minister, who is also the Member of Parliament for Kwabre East, expressed concern about the new phenomenon of “trafficking into the streets.”
Madam Oteng Mensah explained that this is where people are deceptively moved from villages to the street in big cities as beggars, with each beggar saddled with debt bondage arising from their transportation to the city and given a daily quota of sales to make to earn their freedom after a period.
According to the Minister, each morning and evening, several of them, packed inside a vehicle, are dropped and picked at vantage points in the city respectively before and after working for their masters, and this is an intelligence picked from the National Security and the National Intelligence Bureau.
Madam Oteng Mensah added that this, among other existing forms of human trafficking and social vices, is of great concern to the Ministry, and all hands are needed to support the fight with the Ministry and affiliate agencies to curb the menace.
She also acknowledged the importance of the works of IJM and thanked the officials for their kind words and congratulatory messages on her appointment and their interest in continuing to work with the Ministry and relevant secretariats under it.
The delegation from IJM was led by Anita Budu, the newly appointed Director of IJM West Africa.
Madam Oteng Mensah congratulated the new Director and expressed her happiness at having a woman occupying the position, adding, “I want to assure you of my assistance and commitment.”
The IJM supports Ghanaian authorities in the fight against human trafficking, which has become prevalent in recent years, with the group rescuing 1,369 victims and supporting 246 traffickers' convictions since its inception in 2014.