A critical analysis of various strategies adopted to prevent human trafficking and migrants smuggling (undocumented, irregular and forced migrations) as well as its subsequent criminal exploitation and abuse of particularly children and women in Ghana reveals that training, capacity building, educational and/or sensitization programs are concentrated on law enforcement agencies who are mostly corrupt and few social welfare organizations.
However, the author/initiator of this project is of a firm conviction that tourism, travel and hospitality companies, service providers and professionals are in the best position to provide that vital, but mostly taken for granted link which is missing in Ghana's and/or the international frantic effort to detect, prevent, deter and to end human trafficking and migrants smuggling which ultimately leads to extreme criminal exploitation and abuse of particularly children and women.
To understand the point of view posited above, the author/initiator wish to present the core services (value chain activities) that underpins the tourism, travel and hospitality industry which include but not limited to the following highlights.
Transport services providers (airlines, railways, buses, taxis etc)
Accommodation facilities (hotels, guest houses, hostels, brothels, motels etc)
Food and beverage services providers (restaurants, bars, coffee shops, indigenous/local food vendors etc)
Professional intermediaries (destination management organizations, tour operators, travel agencies, tour guides, national/regional tourism agencies and departments, internet cafes etc)
Recreational, leisure, entertainment, shopping and sports facilities (cinemas, night clubs, fitness/spa centers, stadiums, casinos, museums, parks, grocery shops, super markets, shopping malls/centers etc)
From a professional and local knowledge perspectives, tourism, travel and hospitality services/facilities such as those enumerated above, constitute the oil that fuels all the domestic and international human trafficking and migrants smuggling industry that leads to obnoxious criminal exploitation and abuse of especially children and women, believing that perpetrators can hardly operate without accessing and/or using any of the tourism, travel and hospitality services and facilities mentioned above. This particularly holds true in the context of transportation which is also a key component of the definition of human trafficking and migrants smuggling by the United Nations (UN).
Undoubtedly, most of same services/facilities also serves as the sanctuaries for exploitation and abuse of children and women
The author/initiator wish to express absolute difficulty to imagine how human trafficking and migrants smuggling particularly, child trafficking could thrive and flourish in Ghana and for that matter anywhere in the world. For instance if majority of stakeholders operating in the transportation industry such as commercial vehicle (trotro/taxi) drivers and their assistants (mates) as well as officials and masters at various transport terminals/stations were trained to acquire and/or acquaint themselves with the prerequisite skills and tools to enable them identify perpetrators and victims of human trafficking and migrants smuggling.
Rightly so, these intrinsically intertwined phenomenon of human trafficking and migrants smuggling described extensively as a hidden human tragedy, has experientially proven to lead to repugnant abuses and exploitation of mainly children and women in the most devastating and inhumane manner. It must therefore be confronted aggressively and dealt with aggressively, swiftly and comprehensively.