Let’s deal with human trafficking menace – Worthy Bro. Yennah
THE Deputy Supreme Knight of the Knights of Marshall, Worthy Brother Ambrose Yennah, has stressed the need for massive sensitization and advocacy programmes to educate families and communities about human trafficking, human rights and child protection.
That, he explained, would help deal with the menace of human trafficking, especially the trafficking of children for labour exploitation on cocoa farms and fishing.
He was sharing his perspectives in an interview after representing the Marshallan Relief and Development Services (MAREDES) at the just-ended three-day International Conference on Human Trafficking within and from Africa.
The conference, which was organized by Caritas Internationalis and the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People, was held at the Daughters of Divine Love Retreat and Conference Centre (DRACC), Abuja, Nigeria.
Also at the meeting was W/Bro Samuel Zan Akologo, Secretary to MAREDES Board. He, however, attended the meeting as a representative of CARITAS Ghana.
The Abuja conference is a follow up on the Global Forum On Migration and Development held in 2015 in Istanbul (Turkey) which include Human Trafficking of which MAREDES was a participant.
W/Bro Yennah noted that poverty and lack of opportunities to earn any incomes, greed, desire for quick money and pressure from family members to migrate were some of the root causes of human trafficking.
Other causes, he said, were illiteracy, school dropout rate and ignorance, demand for cheap labour, a culture of indifference as well as weak law enforcement and policy implementation.
He said those factors created situations of vulnerability and dependence making people fall prey to traffickers
He said MAREDES would continue with its advocacy programmes and form partnership with other groups to influence national policies on child rights and develop and sustain child rights clubs in basic schools.
W/Bro Yennah, who is a board member of MAREDES, further stated that MAREDES, which is the non-governmental organization wing of the Knights and Ladies of Marshall, would also form alliances with other faith-based organizations against the inhuman treatment victims of human trafficking were subjected to.
Since 2014, MAREDES has been co-operating with the Department of Human Development at the National Catholic Secretariat on issues on Migration and Development, which includes addressing the issue of human trafficking.
He gave the assurance that MAREDES would continue to network with other participating groups such as CARITAS Ghana and the Department of Human Development (DHD) of the National Catholic Secretariat.
He said MAREDES would also advocate for rights and services such as rehabilitation for victims of trafficking.
He described the conference as very useful and successful as it afforded MAREDES the opportunity to form networks with other participating groups.
The Deputy Supreme Knight said MAREDES would seek to develop a partnership with Nigeria’s National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) and other groups for collaborative action and also to share best lessons.
W/Bro Yennah said MAREDES would take a key position in helping to fight human trafficking in Ghana and elsewhere on the continent.
The conference was seen to be very appropriate and timely by the Catholic Church through Caritas and the Pontifical Council for Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant people in collaboration with other actors to network, create the awareness and work to stamp out human trafficking in all its forms as a heinous crime against humanity.
The conference sought to raise awareness about trafficking among people within and from Africa, with a special focus on the trafficking of children, trafficking for labour exploitation including domestic servitude, trafficking of girls for sexual exploitation, trafficking in crisis situations, and trafficking in the maritime industry.
It was also to connect various Stakeholders and strengthen cooperation between countries of origin, transit and destination, in order to explore collaborative strategies that can be used to prevent human trafficking in Africa and to contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s) through actions aimed at combating trafficking and slavery.
The conference discussed several themes including “Human trafficking from the African Pastoral point of view” by the President of Caritas Africa and Vice President of Caritas Internationalis, Most Rev. Anokye, Archbishop of Kumasi, Ghana and “An Interreligious approach to challenging human trafficking”, led by His Excellency, Cardinal John Onaiyekan, Archbishop of Abuja, Nigeria.
There were presentations by leading global experts on the international law of human trafficking, Prof. Joy Ngozi Ezeilo of Nigeria and the United Kingdom’s first Anti-Slavery Commissioner, Mr. Kevin Hyland as well as reflections on “Human Ecology and the root causes of trafficking of human beings” By His Eminence, Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle, President of Caritas Internationalis
A report by W/Bro Albert Salia.