The Ministry of Gender, Children & Social Protection (MoGCSP) in collaboration with Ghana Immigration Service, Expertise France, International Center for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD) and United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has organized a six-day training for officers from the various law enforcement agencies in Northern Ghana.
The six-days training program is also organised under the implementation of two European Union Emergency Trust Fund for Africa projects – respectively the “Support to the fight against human trafficking in the Gulf of Guinea countries” and “Strengthening Border Security in Ghana” – and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.
The officers were drawn from the Ghana Police Service, Ghana Immigration Service, Ghana Revenue Authority and Economic and Organized Crime (EOCO), from the Northern, North East, Upper East, Savannah, Upper West, Ashanti, Ahafo, Bono, Bono East and Eastern Regions who had undertaken an earlier training.
Speaking at the opening ceremony on behalf of the sector minister, the Deputy Director at the Human Trafficking Secretariat (HTS) under the Ministry of Gender, Ms. Osena Owusu-Gibson, said a holistic approach is needed to effectively tackle human trafficking and related issues in the light of the security threat it possesses to the country.
She said therefore, the training was aimed at equipping officers from different law enforcement agencies with knowledge and other requisite skills in Integrated Border Management, counter-terrorism management, human trafficking and the identification and protection of refugees in line with obligations under the Ghana Refugee Law.
She indicated, the Ministry of Gender, is mandated by the Human Trafficking Act of 2005, Act 694, and other legislative instruments, including the National Plan of Action (NPA) to organize specialized training for law enforcement agencies and other officers working in the area of human trafficking and related issues and to coordinate all activities of human trafficking in the country.
Ms. Osena said, the Ministry with support from the partners have since embarked on eight (8) zonal trainings for key law enforcement officers in the country.
She said, the Ministry since 2021, has trained 466 officers under the Expertise France Project. In 2022 alone, the Ministry with the support of Expertise France trained 239 law enforcement officers.
“This is part of the Ministry’s effort to prevent, improve victim protection and increase the prosecution of human traffickers”, she added.
On his part, the project manager at the Expertise France, Serge Akpalou, said the expertise France had over the years, partner with the Human Trafficking Secretariat at the Ministry of Gender, to embarked on basic trainings across the country to build the capacities of LEAs in the detection, investigation, prosecution and collaboration on issues of human trafficking and irregular migration.
“Though a very great step in the right direction, this phenomenon has recently become more pronounced due to the health and the current economic crisis, that as we all know have accentuated the vulnerabilities of people who were already fragile”, he said.
“Coming to the Northern part of the country and with the peculiar challenges surrounding neighboring countries in the sub-region, it was crucial to come with a united front to address the various issues in a holistic manner”, he explained further.
“You have been selected to receive this joint training to enable you become not only agents of change but also experts in your respective areas and communities”, he advised.
Mr. Serge Akpalou, was optimistic that at the end of this six-day capacity building workshop, officers will have a better understanding, knowledge and management of tools related to IBM and security, human trafficking, and the identification and protection of refugees in line with obligations under the Ghana Refugee Law.
Story By: Alhassan Yakubu |www.diamondfmonline.com |Ghana.