Sex trafficking has risen in greater proportions in Ghana. Although Ghana is a signatory to various international conventions, especially, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), the United Nations Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, 2000 and the African Charter on the Rights of the Child;the problem of sextrafficking goes on unabated as hundreds of females are trafficked every year. This is as a result of its hidden nature which has prevented the conducting of a detailed study and a model for its prevention.
Sex trafficking is infamously cementing its place in Ghana as one of the most profitable illegal ventures of trade second only to arms and narcotics. It is difficult to identify the numbers trafficked. Just like the rest of the world, Sex trafficking is on the rise in Ghana as large numbers of young females and children are increasingly coerced into the sex trade. Trafficking for the purposes of sex exploitation and brothel-based prostitution is now common in Ghana. Ghana has emerged as source, transit and destination country for sex trafficking. Ghanaians are trafficked to neighboring West African countries such as Nigeria, Benin and Cote D’Ivoire to engage in sex trade. Equally, countries in the Middle East and North Africa Region (MENA), and European countries such as the Netherlands and Italy appear consistently. Due to the watchful eyes of a conservative and vigilant Ghanaian citizenry and the Police as well, most Ghanaians trafficked for sex trade are for international markets where they often carry the tag of illegal citizens. Varied reasons have been canvassed for sex trafficking; poverty is a major reason for victims’ vulnerability to it. Coupled with lack of formal education, as well as the absence of job opportunities, Ghana is gradually becoming a major source of supply fueling the global sex trade.
A baseline Study conducted by the Eban Centre for Human Trafficking Studies done in Accra reveals the supply chain used by Sex Traffickers for the effective and efficient trafficking of victims who are often females.
The Eban Centre for Human Trafficking Studies(ECHTS), an independent, political, but non-partisan membership organization focused on ending human trafficking; in both its causes and consequences and seek to create an environment that protects the rights of all people, especially individuals vulnerable to human trafficking believes that the following recommendation would enhance the fight against sex trafficking in Ghana.
1. Adoption of the Supply Chain for Effective Nationwide Data Collection on Sex Trafficking
There is the need to understand the business perspective that informs the processes and business model used by traffickers. Trafficking can thus, be compared to international trade processes with the trafficked victims serving as “goods” which are bought, sold and made use of as commodities. The adoption of the term “goods” is for the understanding of the business model being used as in the case of international trade. However, unlike other commodities or cargo, human beings are more complex. This makes this business model a peculiar one. The need for care during the process of transporting them may not always be legal. Victims are often under coercion to function in a particular way, often being denied of any kind of choice or location and the mode of performing that function. Based on this assumption, the model to be used will illustrate the business model behind trafficking.
2. Clarification between Prostitution and Sex Trafficking for efficientData Collection.
The Palermo Protocol defines sex trafficking according to three elements: the act committed by the purported trafficker, the means by which that act is accomplished, and the object for which the act is committed. These elements correspond to the three key areas where the Palermo Protocol definition of sex trafficking diverges from the definitions adopted by several state parties. These analyses label the first two elements of the definition as the “act” and “means” elements, respectively. There is, however, some variety of labels that have been used to characterize the third element of the definition. Most often, this element is referred to as the “purpose” element of trafficking. These analyses label the first two elements of the definition as the “act” and “means” elements, respectively.
The Centre therefore proposesa framework that will target trafficking by locating the root causes to prevent-re-trafficking. The distinct feature of this model is grounded in the contextual realities of trafficking in the society. This model recommends that rehabilitation and reintegration are not isolated form the realities of society, therefore factors propelling Sex Trafficking must be addressed for successful rehabilitation and reintegration process.