GIS debunks media allegation on sexual exploitation

Accra, June 30,
GNA – The Ghana Immigration Service has debunked alleged sexual exploitation of
victims of human trafficking who were in the GIS custody.

Ghana Immigration
Service said the allegation was false, misleading and maligning.

A statement issued
and signed by Michael Amoako-Atta, Acting Head of Public Affairs Unit, GIS
indicated that they had stepped up surveillance at the country’s land borders
after government placed temporal ban on the use of the Kotoka International
Airport for travels to the Gulf Regions for domestic servants.

It said vigilance at
the borders had paid off with numerous arrests and interceptions of human
traffickers and their victims adding that 90 girls were rescued from being
trafficked to the Gulf Region within three weeks.

It explained that
the girls were given initial counselling by officers of the Anti-Human
Smuggling and Trafficking in Prisons Unit (ASHTIP) of the GIS who were trained
professionals in the handling of trafficked victims and their statements taken
in an effort to prosecute the alleged traffickers.

For the safety of
the victims and other security considerations, the victims were sent to a Safe
House where a Social Worker and other Professional handlers took adequate care
of them.

According to the
statement, the victims were given further counselling and trained in soap
making, parazone production, batik and beads making which gave them alternative
livelihood to eventually reintegrate into their communities.

It said no Officer
of the GIS lived in the Safe House with the victims and they were fed three
times daily.

It said a visit to
the Safe House by the GIS was always supervised by a Senior Female Officer.

“On Tuesday, June
28, 2017, some of the victims agitated for their release and in the process
about eight of the ladies escaped from the Safe House, adding that the rest of
the victims were immediately brought to the Headquarters of the GIS and were
processed and released to their families on Wednesday, June 28, 2017,” it said.

It said the Victims
were provided with money for transport to their various destinations adding
that investigation by GIS through interviews with the victims revealed that
some of them were in hurry to go home and therefore used various means to secure
their release hence the unfortunate accusations of sexual assaults labelled
against Officers.

“Indeed, no Officer
of the GIS had sex with the victims and/or made any sexual demands on the

It said the
publication of the false story and subsequent exposure of location of the
victims would seriously hamper ongoing investigations.

It added that the
fight against human trafficking does not end with mere arrests or interceptions
but securing a conviction in the court of law would be a strong deterrent to
the traffickers and called for media support in the fight against human trafficking.

“The GIS wish to
admonish the media to always cross-check with Service before reporting on such

It said their
sacrifices in the face of dire challenges along the borders must be commended
and appreciated to make their work one of a national pride.

“The GIS will
continually seek the support and cooperation of the media to fight this

The statement said
High Commission of the GIS was resolved to ensure security at the country’s
borders for a peaceful development of the country and would therefore not
relent in its fight against human smuggling and trafficking in persons or any
illegal cross border activity.


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