NGOs receive $5m for US, Ghana Child Protection Partnership
The US Embassy and the US government’s
Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons have awarded $5
million to Free the Slaves (FTS), an international NGO working in
Ghana, and the International Organization on Migration (IOM) for
activities to support the recently signed US-Ghana Child Protection
The Child Protection Compact Partnership
(CPC) is the first-ever jointly developed plan to address child sex
trafficking and forced child labor within Ghana. It was signed by
Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection Nana Oye Lithur
and former US Ambassador to Ghana Gene Cretz, on June 23, 2015, at
the Flagstaff House.
The US Embassy says the signing of the CPC
demonstrated the commitment of President Mahama and the ministers of
the participating ministries – Gender, Children and Social
Protection; Justice; Interior; and Employment and Labor Relations –
to enhancing the protection of Ghanaian children.
As implementing partners of the CPC, IOM and
FTS will work collaboratively with the government of Ghana and civil
society organizations to combat forced child labor and child sex
trafficking in the Volta, Central, and Greater Accra regions over
the next four years by enhancing internal coordination, protocol and
referral mechanisms for victim identification, and ensuring a timely
and effective response to suspected cases of trafficking.
“The Organization will also build the skills
of social service workers, police, judges and prosecutors, and
support increased enforcement of child trafficking laws by providing
logistical support to Ghanaian police and assisting victims and
witnesses’ participation in criminal proceedings”, the statement
The American Embassy in Accra says support
for improved care and rehabilitation services to child survivors
will also take place for 18 months in a government-sponsored
The statement said IOM’s funding for these
projects totals $2.54 million.
Free the Slaves in partnership with
International Needs Ghana (INGH), will also train community leaders
to recognize child trafficking and take appropriate action, help
reintegrate rescued victims into communities while supporting
livelihood alternatives for their families; and provide staff
training and sub-grants to selected NGOs for aftercare services to
child trafficking victims.
“FTS will receive $2.46 million in funding,
combined with $53,044 in funds contributed from other sources.”
Children who are vulnerable due to economic
hardships in Ghana are sometimes subjected to forced child labor in
fishing, domestic service, street hawking, begging, pottering,
quarrying, artisanal gold mining, and agriculture.
Girls, and to a lesser extent boys, are also
subjected to sex trafficking within Ghana, including in the three
regions that are the focus of this Partnership: the Central, Volta,
and Greater Accra regions.
“This Partnership represents the inaugural
opportunity for the United States to work cooperatively with the
Ghanaian ministries responsible for child protection and law
enforcement and the civil society organizations that work diligently
to end child trafficking in Ghana and build a better future for
Ghana’s children.” Susan Coppedge, the U.S. Ambassador at Large to
Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons said.
By Emmanuel Odonkor