Close to 200,000 Ghanaians in modern slavery — Report

Slavery still seems to be a problem even in the 21st century, says anti slavery campaign group “Walk Free” whose recent report reveals some 200,000 Ghanaians are living as modern slaves.

The group’s Global Slavery Index indicates that among 167 countries surveyed, Ghana ranked 21st representing a drop by three places from last year’s 18th position.

According to the global slavery index, sectors in Ghana most affected by modern slavery are small scale fishing, small scale mining, domestic service and agriculture.

Poverty is a push factor forcing parents to send their young children away from home to work and be trained elsewhere. Trafficked children often engage in mining, especially illegal artisanal gold mining locally known as galamsey.

The report also claims commercial sexual exploitation of children is prevalent in the Volta region and on the increase in the oil rich western region.

Ghanaian women and children are also recruited and transported to Nigeria, Côte d’Ivoire, Western Europe and the United States, and some are subjected to for forced (domestic) labour and commercial sexual exploitation.

The group has called for coordinated approach by government, community empowerment, supply chain improvements and greater integration with all key stakeholders in dealing with the problem.

Technical Advisor to the Ministry for Gender, Children and Social Protection, Edmund Folley, said “If you look like the figures [from the research], it may look like a very small percentage of our population…They are most children, women, people living in extreme poverty in our country. They are more vulnerable to being trafficked”

He has also called for joint efforts between citizens and government institutions to deal with the problem.

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