Security agencies at a forum on human trafficking and irregular migration have called for a functional database, information sharing and collaboration between law enforcement agencies to effectively deal with human traffickers and irregular migration.
They said the lack of an up-to-date central database, accessible to all security agencies and social workers, had for a long time thwarted efforts at ending the menace.
While they acknowledged that individual institutions were doing tremendously well to combat the menace, it required more institutional linkages, commitment, dedication, resources and a united front to sustain the gains.
The appeal was made by Mr Charles Akpedonu, Central Regional Director of the Economic and Organized Crime Office (EOCO), DCOP (Mrs) Habiba Twumasi Sarpong, Central Regional Police Commander and Assistant Commissioner of Immigration (ACI), Fisal Disu, Central Regional Ghana Immigration Service Commander.
The security officers addressed the opening of a three-day capacity building workshop on human trafficking and irregular migration in the Central Regional capital, Cape Coast, on Wednesday.
The workshop aimed at building the capacity of security personnel and social workers to effectively combat human trafficking and irregular migration in Ghana.
It was organised by the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection (MGCSP), in collaboration with Expertise France, an Agency for development and coordination of international relations, and supported by the European Union (EU).
Mr Akpedonu expressed worry over the seeming turf war between stakeholders over operational and territorial jurisdictions, mandate and influence in dealing with human trafficking as well as irregular migration.
That, he said, was unnecessary if the war on the menace was to be won and rallied the commitment of all stakeholders to ensure that all human lives were protected regardless of race, colour or ethnicity.
He advocated a strong database as a tool to learn best practices, follow-ups, easier communication and information sharing.
He said EOCO was committed to the fight against human trafficking and vicious agents fuelling irregular migration, drug trafficking, money-laundering and other organised crimes with relevant foreign or international agencies.
DCOP Habiba Twumasi Sarpong reiterated the need for strong institutional collaboration in fighting the menace and cited the Service’s working relations with the Attorney General’s Department and Embassies as helpful.
She said the Regional Command and various Divisions had a Director and Desk Officers in charge of human trafficking and irregular migration, who were coordinating with other security agencies to bring the phenomenon under control.
“Our region is considered as one of the supply sources and I plead with all to collaborate to do away with the tag because the region is a tourism hub. We also pledge to work assiduously with all stakeholders to prevent the menace,” she added.
Mr Fisal Disu described human trafficking and irregular migration as modern slavery that must be tackled holistically and collectively.
He said the practice ought to be the concern of every person because it debased humanity, destroyed social fabric, endangered public health, fuelled violence and organized crimes.
He warned facilitators of irregular migration to desist from the act or face the wrath of the law when caught and emphasised that “the injustices of human trafficking is a scar on the conscience of the World.”