Two Ghanaian citizens namely Gariba Neutori, 35, Gmabani Gariba, 21 , have been arrested by police in Togo for allegedly trafficking 6 teenagers to Nigeria.
Pan African Organization for Research and Protection of Violence on Women and Children with its partners Ong Cruseat Togo with security agencies in the Tatale Sanguli district rescued the teenagers.
Information gathered by DGN Online indicates that the teenagers were trafficked from Yeji in the Bono East region through Tatale to Togo.
The victims were being prepared to be trafficked to Nigeria from Togo when the Togolese police arrested and handed the suspects and the victims to the Ghana Immigration Service officials at the Ghana-Togo border at Tatale Sanguli in the Northern region.
The victims are Maatali Muyan,10, Kojo Nanweela,13, Kwabena Akaesi, 16, Dukurugu Beyini,20, Godwin Augustine, 25 and Owusu Albenago,16.
The victims were said to have been lured to neighboring countries in search for greener pastures to better their lives.
Tatale Sanguli District Commander, ASP Peter Paul who confirmed the arrest to DGN Online said the district has been used as a transit point for trafficking to other regions and neighboring countries.
He indicated that the traffickers use unapproved routes in the district for their trafficking activities.
According to him, Yeji in the Bono East region has been the hub for human trafficking in the country and called for urgent measures to curb it immediately.
ASP Paul called for severe punishment for traffickers to serve as deterrent to others who would engage in such illegal activities.
The suspects and victims have since been transferred to the Northern Regional Police Command for the necessary action.
Executive Director of Pan African Organization for Research and Protection of Violence on Women and Children, Dr. Ndonwie Peter said between 2020-2021 the organization has been able to rescue about 30 children and reintegrate them to their various families.
Dr. Peter disclosed that the organization has formed community anti trafficking watch groups to create awareness of rights of children and pick up issues of trafficking in five districts in the Northern region to help tackle the trafficking menace in the North.
He called on government to resource the social welfare departments in the various district to enhance their work.
“ Government needs to employ more social welfare workers , provide means of transport among others to be able to reach out to deprived community to sensitize and educate community members on human trafficking issues.”
Chief of Nachamb Traditional Area , Badimey Dakubanyi warned residents to desist from providing accommodation to traffickers in his area and assured that his palace will support government and other NGOs to fight the human trafficking menace in the district.
Chief thanked PanAfrica organisation and other agencies that helped to rescue the teenagers.
The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the International Labour Organisation (ILO) estimate that between 200,000 and 300,000 children are trafficked each year for forced labour and sexual exploitation in West and Central Africa.
In 2003, the Ghana Child Labor Survey Report published by the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) revealed that over 49,000 children were involved in the fishing industry in Ghana.
About 25% of the children were 5/9 years of age, 41% were 10/14 years of age, and 34% were 15/17 years of age.