Friday December 31, 2010 5:53 PM
The Ghana Police Service with the help of UNICEF has established an Anti-Human Traffic Unit at Wa to operate as an intelligenc= e heart beat on human trafficking in the region.
A three-day workshop designed to hone the skills of 35 police offic= ers drawn from all the districts in the region who operate the Unit, preceded=
the inauguration of the Unit at Wa on Wednesday. The inauguration had the theme: "Don't close your eyes to human trafficking". Speaking at the ceremony, the Upper West Regional Deputy Minister, Mr. Kale Cesar, said it was very appropriate to have agents of the Unit in th= e rural areas because victims of human trafficking usually hail from such areas where poverty was very rife.
He called on the relevant agencies to share information and resource= s in order to make meaningful impact on combating the crime. Community members, he stated, must be prepared to expose the operato= rs of this crime to the security agencies while the judiciary should also de= al sternly with culprits brought before the courts. He advised security personnel to conduct the exercise as a purely security intelligence network so that identities of people who may volunt= eer information were protected. Mr. Amponsah Asiamah (ACP), Director of Administration at the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) headquarters, who represented the Director-General of CID, noted that human trafficking was one of the fast= est growing global crimes He therefore urged the general public to be on the look out for thos= e engaged in it and report them to the police.
"It is inimical to the creation of a more civilized society for women=
and children to be robbed of their freedom", he said. He commended UNICEF for supporting the Police to establish such unit= s in all the regions. Mr. Eric Okrah, a Representative of UNICEF, said the high poverty levels in a region like the Upper West could encourage trafficking of children to other areas for economic exploitation such as the emerging "oil city" of Takoradi.
He mentioned the Republic of Gabon where a lot of human trafficking was going on because of Oil production, adding that this must not happen in Ghana.
ACP Addae Acheampong, the Regional Police Commander, noted that the savannah areas of the country were becoming notorious for human trafficki= ng and called on all relevant agencies to support the Police to arrest that canker.