The Christian Council of Ghana (CCG), on Thursday launched a policy brief on child trafficking with a call on Government to ensure rural development, to enable the people have livelihoods to prevent them from engaging in the crime.
“When communities are developed and provided with the necessary infrastructure, people would want to stay in such communities and work and fend for their children instead of selling them off for reasons of poverty, which has been identified as the main cause of child trafficking,” Reverend Dr Fred Deegbe, General Secretary, CCG, said in Accra.
Launching the policy booklet, Rev Deegbe explained that child trafficking, which was an age-old practice existed in most parts of the country, especially in cocoa and fishing communities with its contributing factors including poverty, illiteracy, ignorance, unemployment, misplacement of priority and poor parenting.
The Council conducted a baseline survey in 2006 in six selected communities in Ga West and Dangme West Districts of the Greater Accra Region, and discovered that 124 children were trafficked to various destinations such as Akosombo, Yeji, Akoto Lante, Afram Plains, Kpando Torkor, Togo, Abidjan and Cotonou.
Rev. Deegbe said the discovery indicated that child trafficking was rife in some parts of the country, and there was the need for all and sundry to unite to combat it and added that the church, parents, Government and police had roles to play to eliminate the practices.
He said the brief policy contained details of findings of the work carried out by the Council on child trafficking for the past years, which falls within its gender and human rights advocacy projects.
Rev. Deegbe said the brief featured recommendations and action plan that could be adopted by the various stakeholders to address the issues of child trafficking.
The more than 500 copies of the policy would be circulated to schools, churches, policy makers, duty bearers and the society.
“Children represent the future aspirations of our country and we must therefore, do all that we can to ensure that they grow to become that which God has destined them to be. Let us be guided with the words of Jesus in Mark 9:42 which read
“Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him if a great milestone were hung around his neck and he were thrown into the sea”, Rev Deegbe said.
Mr Iddrisu Abdallah, Child Trafficking Specialist, UNICEF, called on Ghanaians to come together and fight child trafficking. GNA