The Director-General, National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking In Persons (NAPTIP), Dame Julie Okah-Donli, has described the 2017 law put in place by the Republic of Ghana, banning the external migration of women especially to the Middle East, as commendable and a course of action that can be adopted for the prevention of young African women from falling prey to human traffickers and cheap labour merchants.
The DG stated this on Wednesday at the NAPTIP Lagos Zonal Command, during the formal handover to the Ghana High Commission, for safe repatriation, eight Ghanaian women intercepted at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos, by Officers of the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) on Monday 8th October, as possible victims of human trafficking. The NAPTIP Boss, who was represented at the handover ceremony by the Head of Operations at the Command, Mr. Taiwo Waheed, formally handed the women over to the Head, Consular, Ghana High Commission, Hussein Adam Amandi who was represented by the Second Secretary, David Ako Sowah.
NAPTIP’s preliminary investigations revealed that the ladies, who are between ages 24 and 34 are possible labour migrants, six of whom have previously worked in Kuwait, Dubai, and Saudi Arabia, from whence they returned to Ghana at the expiration of their visas. Prior to their interception, the women reportedly left Ghana and arrived Nigeria with the aim of boarding an Egypt Air flight to Cairo, then proceed to Kurdistan, Republic of Iraq. The links to Kurdistan were reportedly made by their Ghanaian Agents who had convinced them of great opportunities in Iraq. The women were unable to give traceable information about the Nigerian agents who linked them at the Airport for further investigation which hindered their possible arrest by NIS.
The representative of the Head, Consular, David Ako Sowah, expressed the Ghana High Commission’s appreciation for the level of cooperation and good working relationship between the Agency and the Commission.
The interception of the women is in tandem with a law passed by the government of Ghana in 2017 which puts a ban on the external migration of Ghanaian females as part of efforts to protect them from falling victims of human trafficking and other dehumanizing practices prevalent all over the world.
This is contrary to earlier reports in the media which stated that the intercepted women were human traffickers. Preliminary investigations has revealed that they were possible victims of human trafficking and exploitation, bearing in mind the various reports of exploitation being faced by young Nigerian and African girls in domestic servitude in the Saudi Arabia and other Middle East countries.
They have also been successfully handed over to the Ghanaian authorities for further actions.
Nneka I. Aniagoh
Press and Public Relations Unit