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ActionAid Ghana CMS project helps 398 females escape modern slavery

Mr John Nkaw, Country Director, ActionAid Ghana, a Non-Governmental Organisation, has revealed that the NGO’s Combating Modern Slavery Project (CMSP) has helped 398 females escape modern slavery.

He said the lack of economic opportunity coupled with pervasive poverty in some regions of Ghana often made women and other vulnerable groups more vulnerable to modern slavery.

Through the CMS project, Mr Nkaw said ActionAid Ghana had been able to reduce the vulnerability of 398 female household heads through livelihood empowerment programmes, including the provision of start-up capital.

The Country Director made the revelation at an event to validate the CMS Project Endline Study report in Accra.

He said, ‘…The CMSP has brought relief to women and children over the past three years through many interventions like livelihood skill training and start-up support, the training of community-based anti-human trafficking combats, the rescuing and reuniting of survivors, and the call for the UN legally binding instrume
nt on business and human rights.’

Outlining the gains of the CMS Project, the Country Director said, some 398 female household heads had been supported with livelihood skills that had made them independent, resourceful and reduced their vulnerability and their children to modern slavery.

The beneficiaries, he said, were also given start-up equipment worth about GH?1,994,306.63 in the Bono, Northern Region, Upper West, and Oti regions.

According to the WalkFree Global Slavery Index report (2023), Ghana’s prevalence of modern slavery is 2.9 per 1000 people.

This translates to 91,000 people with factors such as poverty and gender discrimination intersecting to make women, especially vulnerable to modern slavery.

Funded by the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad) with a tune of USD1,293,229.69, ActionAid Ghana embarked on a three-year project dubbed ‘Combatting Modern Slavery in Ethiopia and Ghana’.

The project aimed at decreasing the scale and prevalence of modern slavery in the agricultura
l, industrial, and service sectors while raising awareness of modern slavery with a focus on child labour, human trafficking, and forced labour.

In Ghana, the project covered a total of 100 communities, with various activities working closely in four administrative regions and 12 districts.

ActionAid Ghana (AAG) partnered with the General Agriculture Workers Union (GAWU) for the project implementation in Ghana.

Mr Nkaw said effective collaboration with security agencies, particularly the Ghana Police Service and the Ghana Immigration Service, had aided the ActionAid Ghana in combating modern slavery.

He said the collaboration with these agencies helped in the rescue of 61 vulnerable survivors of various forms of modern slavery.

Additionally, the Country Director said AAG was exploring further donor funding or institutional funding to scale up the project into phase two to drastically work with key partners and allies mentioned above to mitigate the prevalence of CMS practices.

Working with the media was
key sustainability practice to eradicating modern slavery, he assured, and that given that the CMS also fitted into the new Country Strategy Paper, AAG was relentlessly working through existing interventions to ensure that Modern slavery became a thing of the past in Ghana.

Mrs. Bashiratu Kamal, a representative from the General Agriculture Workers Union (GAWU), said modern slavery, especially child labour, was prevalent in fishing and farming communities.

However, she said, the familiarisation between victims and perpetuators affected their arrests and the rescue of victims.

Mrs Kamal noted that victims often had some tribal, family, or religious affinity with perpetuators and thus did not cooperate with the security agencies.

She, therefore, called for a review and amendment of relevant portions of Ghanaian laws on human trafficking, as the current law was deficient in tackling human trafficking.

Source: Ghana News Agency