From 12-13 March, parliamentarians from Ghana and the United Kingdom will meet in Accra to discuss efforts to curb modern slavery, human trafficking and forced labour.
Professor Baroness Lola Young OBE will lead the delegation from the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association UK (CPA UK), which is bringing together Commonwealth lawmakers to share experience of tackling modern slavery-related crimes through robust legislation.
Baroness Young stated:
“The scale and reach of modern forms of slavery, forced and exploitative labour practices, and trafficking is truly shocking. Every sector of business is potentially perpetuating the misery caused by these crimes. I am convinced that, whether it’s football, fashion or the tourist industry, legislators around the world must collaborate to outlaw these practices.
The UK has started the process of tackling these crimes though its 2015 Modern Slavery Act, but it needs more work. All jurisdictions need to review how they’re addressing these crimes and I look forward to discussing our role as parliamentarians with colleagues in Ghana.”
The Global Slavery Index 2018 estimates that there are more than 130 thousand victims of modern slavery, human trafficking and forced labour in Ghana. There are well documented cases of traffickers targeting children for exploitation in the fishing industries of Lake Volta, as well as transporting men, women and children to neighbouring countries or further afield to the Middle East and Europe for domestic servitude, forced labour and commercial sexual exploitation.
On the request of the Ghanaian parliamentarians who have been championing these issues, the CPA UK delegation will participate in a consultative meeting with political leadership, government agencies and civic society to explore opportunities to strengthen anti-slavery efforts and legislation.
CPA UK has engaged with parliamentarians, clerks and legal experts from the Parliament of Ghana on these critical issues – first at an awareness-raising workshop in Entebbe, Uganda in July 2017 and at a seminar on improving legislation in London in December 2017.
Support will continue after the bilateral visit with a further workshop in London. The workshop will track progress to date as well as opportunities for ongoing strengthening of laws. As part of this, Ghanaian MPs will visit UK constituencies where they will meet their parliamentary counterparts to discuss the challenges they face in addressing modern slavery-related crimes.