Gender Ministry Calls For Action Against Cyber Fraud, Exploitation


The Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection has asked the Inspector General of Police, George AkuffoDampare, to work towards equipping the Anti-Human Trafficking Units and the Cybercrime Office to address exploitation and cyber fraud.
According to the ministry, traffickers have devised new modus operandi to lure and force victims into several forms of exploitation, including engaging in cyber fraud.
“They are scammed and recruited to engage in the Q Net business which is a blend of cyber fraud, forced labour exploitation and the act of trafficking,” Chief Director of the ministry, Dr.AfisaZakariah said.
She was speaking at the opening of a three-day advanced capacity building programme on human trafficking and irregular migration for law enforcement officers organised by Expertise France in Accra.
The participants were selected from the Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO), Ghana Police Service (GPS), Ghana Immigration Service (GIS), Department of Social Welfare (DSW) and representatives from the Attorney General’s Department.
Dr. Zakariah said the government has increased the Human Trafficking Fund from GH¢500,000 to GH¢1,000,000 in 2019 and subsequently to GH¢144,000 in 2022 to enable the Human Trafficking Secretariat and shelters operate effectively.
“Adult shelter since its operations on February 1, 2019 has received over 153 rescued clients…while the children shelter operationalised in August 2020 has rehabilitated over 70 child victims,” she disclosed.
Touching on the progress made so far, Dr. Zakariah said the ministry, together with its agencies, rescued 831 victims in 2021, 14 individuals were arrested and charged and convicted for child labour exploitation, whilst 13 individuals were charged with human trafficking and jailed between five to seven years in prison.
Country Director, Expertise France, Serge Akpalou, said the purpose of the advance level training is to equip law enforcement officers to better handle complex cases and have a deeper understanding of issues of trafficking.
He said, “Officers will have a better understanding and knowledge on human trafficking and victim identification, which will in turn increase the number of prosecutions as we also aim to increase awareness within the judicial sector.”
He said the use of modern technology has become a necessary tool for both the enabler and the enforcer hence, “We must work together through information sharing to reduce the incidence of human trafficking.”
Deputy Commissioner of Immigration, Isaac Luortey, said the Ghana Immigration Service is committed to providing migrants with reliable information on how to travel safely, by providing relevant information in relation to the complexities and dangers of irregular migration.
He added that the service has created migration information centres in regions that have high numbers of irregular migration returns, and added that trafficking in persons, being a transnational organised crime, requires the adoption of a collaborative strategy and partnership among agencies and countries in information sharing.
ExecutiveDirector of Economic and Organised Crime Office, MaameYaaTiwaa Addo-Danquah, said perpetrators behind these crimes take advantage of those who are vulnerable, desperate, or simply seeking a better life by promising them lucrative jobs and conditions.
She thus emphasised that the office is carrying out its mandate of prevention and detection of organised crime, including prohibited cyber activities and human trafficking.


By Jamila Akweley Okertchiri & Brady Doran