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General News of Wednesday, 26 June 2019

Source: Supt. Michael Amoako-Attah

Immigration Service step up efforts to combat human trafficking

A five-day cascading training workshop on Combating Trafficking in Persons for Officers of the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS) has opened in Accra.

A total of 40 Officers drawn from the National Headquarters and 18 Regional Commands of the GIS are participating in the workshop to enhance their skills and knowledge in the prevention of human trafficking in Ghana.

The workshop forms part of the Migration EU Expertise (MIEUX) project which started two years ago, is funded by the European Union, with International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD) and the GIS as the implementing agencies.

Explaining the rationale behind the project, a former Chief Immigration Officer at the United Kingdom (UK) Border Agency, Mr. John Linehan, who is a Border Management consultant to the project said, the overall objective of the MIEUX project was to enhance the capacity of Officers to identify victims of human trafficking as well as perpetrators.

According to Mr. Linehan, a training manual on combating Trafficking in Persons has been developed which he said would be integrated into the training curriculum of the GIS.

“The Technical Working Group of the project which include Officers of GIS assisted in its development”, he stated.

He also added that trainers in Trafficking in Persons at the GIS have been equipped to provide training and capacity-building to personnel in accordance with international best practices.

The Head of Policy Planning Monitoring and Evaluation Department at the National Headquarters of GIS, Chief Superintendent of Immigration (CSI) Thomas Ewuntomah, who spoke on behalf of the Comptroller-General of Immigration, indicated that human trafficking had assumed critical dimension which required concerted effort to combat it. “It is for this reason that as a State Agency, we need to do everything possible to combat it”, he said.

He made reference to the 2018 Trafficking in Persons report by the United States Department of State that upgraded Ghana to the tier two in the fight against human trafficking and noted that the success story could not be trumpeted without the mention of GIS contribution in the fight against the menace.

“You will agree with me that the success story could not have been without the role played by the GIS”, he said.

He expressed the Service’s appreciation to the sponsor and the implementers of the project and said the Ghana Integrated Migration Management Approach (GIMMA) and the MIEUX projects had over the years supported the GIS in various capacities to fight cross border crime.

“We should therefore be consolidating the gains in all these projects to find a common front to fight this canker”, he noted.

The MIEUX project over the two year period covered activities such as assessment of training needs on Trafficking in Persons, information exchange on detection, investigation and referral of victims of Trafficking in Persons, development of training manual on combating Trafficking in Persons and training of trainers on the training manual, among others.