The Government of Ghana does not fully meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking but is making significant efforts to do so. The government demonstrated overall increasing efforts compared with the previous reporting period, considering the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, if any, on its anti-trafficking capacity; therefore Ghana remained on Tier 2. These efforts included increasing trafficking investigations and prosecutions and providing anti-trafficking training to law enforcement, judicial officials, community leaders, and service providers. The government adopted a new 2022-2026 NAP and an accompanying communications strategy. Labor inspectors identified child trafficking victims and referred cases for criminal investigation. However, the government did not meet the minimum standards in several key areas. The government identified fewer trafficking victims and continued its 2017 ban on labor migration to Gulf states, which increased vulnerability to trafficking. Despite reports of fraudulent labor recruiters exploiting Ghanaian victims abroad, the government did not report holding any fraudulent recruiters accountable. The government did not adequately address complicity in trafficking crimes, and it did not amend the anti-trafficking act regulations to remove the option of a fine in lieu of imprisonment in cases where the trafficker was a parent or guardian of a child victim.
The Ghanian goverment should:
- Continue to increase efforts to investigate and prosecute trafficking crimes, including official complicity and fraudulent labor recruitment, and seek adequate penalties for convicted traffickers, which should involve significant prison terms.
- Increase efforts to prevent exploitation of Ghanaian workers abroad, including by ending the ban on labor migration to Gulf states, implementing the 2020 National Labor Migration Policy, and ensuring workers do not pay recruitment fees.
- Amend the 2015 implementing regulations for the 2005 human trafficking law to remove the option of a fine in lieu of imprisonment in cases where the trafficker is a parent or guardian of a child victim.
- Increase coordination between law enforcement, prosecutors, and social workers on trafficking victim identification and protection.
- Conduct thorough and transparent criminal investigations and prosecutions of alleged government complicity in trafficking crimes, including interference in law enforcement proceedings.
- Train law enforcement and service providers on the SOPs to identify victims and refer them to services; implement the procedures in all regions.
- Increase the quantity and quality of care available to victims, including by providing financial and in-kind support to civil society providing shelter and victim services.
- Proactively screen for trafficking indicators among vulnerable populations – including Ghanaian women traveling abroad for domestic work, returning migrants, domestic and foreign workers on People’s Republic of China (PRC) national-operated fishing vessels, and Cuban overseas workers – and refer trafficking victims to protective services.
- Improve victim-witness assistance programs to increase protective services for victims participating in the criminal justice process.
from 2023 Trafficking in Persons Report – U.S. Department of State
2023 Trafficking in Persons Report – United States Department of State