[ Human Trafficking, Country-by-Country ]

GHANA (Tier 2) Extracted from the U.S. State Dept 2020 TIP Report

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 to the previous reporting period; therefore Ghana remained on Tier 2. These efforts included identifying more potential victims of trafficking and providing comprehensive services for victims in the newly established government shelter for adult female trafficking victims. The government also investigated and prosecuted more trafficking cases and sentenced more convicted traffickers to significant prison terms; continued to implement standard operating procedures (SOPs) for identification and referral of trafficking victims in some regions; and continued cooperative efforts among police, social welfare, and civil society actors to identify and remove children from trafficking situations. The government also increased its support for implementing Ghana’s anti-trafficking national action plan, training for officials and traditional leaders, and conducting public awareness activities. However, the government did not meet the minimum standards in several key areas. The lack of adequate resources for anti-trafficking law enforcement and social welfare personnel continued to hinder investigations, prosecutions, and protection efforts. The government did not expend funds allocated to the Human Trafficking Fund (HTF) to address the lack of sufficient protection services for adult male and child trafficking victims, and it did not take steps to improve protections for Ghanaian migrant workers before departing and while abroad, particularly in the Gulf. The government did not adequately address corruption, including complicit officials who facilitated trafficking, 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 is a parent or guardian of the child victim.

Prioritized Recommendations

Increase efforts to vigorously investigate, prosecute, and sentence convicted traffickers under the Human Trafficking Act, including complicit officials.Provide increased resources to police and social welfare personnel to enable them to respond effectively to reports of suspected sex or labor trafficking, collect and preserve evidence, and protect potential victims.Expend funds allocated to the HTF to support comprehensive trauma-informed care and reintegration services for adult and child trafficking victims.Amend the 2015 implementing regulations for the 2005 Ghana Anti-Trafficking Act to remove the option of a fine in lieu of imprisonment in cases where the trafficker is a parent or guardian of the child victim.End the ban on recruitment of Ghanaian workers to countries in the Gulf, increase efforts to educate all migrant workers on their rights before going abroad, ensure migrant workers have written contracts, and take steps to ensure any recruitment fees are paid by employers.Investigate and prosecute recruitment agents and others suspected of participating in trafficking Ghanaian migrant workers.Improve implementation of SOPs for screening, identification, referral, and protection of trafficking victims throughout Ghana.Increase the collaboration between investigators and prosecutors during case development and throughout the prosecution of human trafficking cases.Provide advanced training to law enforcement on surveillance and evidence collection in trafficking cases and to prosecutors and judges on pursuing cases under the anti-trafficking act.Implement trafficking data collection procedures that track investigations, prosecutions, victims identified by enforcement and protection agencies, and assistance provided.