The influx of Nigerians into neighbouring West African nations where they serve as cheap prostitutes continues unabated despite laws forbidding such illegal trade and warnings from the government of severe punishment for those caught in the act.
Many of the victims are being treated as mere commodities as they are crated in attempts to escape security screening at borders.
A report recently claimed Aflao Immigration Control unit of the Ghana Immigration Service recorded 39 intercepted cases of human trafficking involving Nigerians, Ghanaians, Togolese, and even Chinese nationals.
The report claimed children and adults between the ages of eight and 23 were being trafficked along the Ghana-Togo border to other African cities, especially Ivory Coast where they carry out sex trade.
The Human Right Watch last August had warned of continued Africa’s Coastal areas sex trade with increase in human trafficking, claiming victims are forced to have sexual deals with men as young as 15 and 30 years old as their patrons and matrons make brisk businesses.
According to the Human Rights Group, ‘Human Rights Watch’, Nigerian women and girls are being used for brisk businesses especially in the neighbouring Ivory Coast where they are forced into prostitution and all sorts of human degradation.
The international human rights organization says victims were between the ages of 15 and 17 or even younger when they are lured under the guise of providing better life for them and family back home.Many conduct their illicit trade in Ivory Coast.
According to the Watch report, victims are forced to have sex with 15 to 30 men a night at 1,000 CFA francs ($2) per visit.
Government sources claimed the case of human trafficking out of Nigeria had concerned the government which passed anti-trafficking laws that focus on human smuggling to other West African countries, Europe and the United States. Ivory Coast, the current hot bed for the trade are not inclusive.
Why Ivory Coast has been left out of the banned cities remains a matter to clarify by the government.
For several years, many vulnerable girls have been used as sex slaves across Europe where they are smuggled to serve their masters’ and mistresses purpose of acquiring cheap wealth.
Among the countries where the prostitutes have become a menace are Netherlands, Germany, Belgium and
Spain where unscrupulous merchants keep these girls, mostly adventurous teenagers in search of better life, housing them in appalling working conditions to dish out as sex sellers to bidders.
According to sources: “Many of the girls are forced to work long hours under terrible conditions as the merchants make efforts threatening them with deportation so they can work harder in order to recoup their mentor’s fees, especially the amounts paid for transporting the girls into those countries.
However, Ghanaian Immigration Department, concerned about the spate of the rising tide of the unholy trade had raised concern about the dangers of allowing the trade to thrive in the West African coast.
Recently, the Department partnered with the United Nations Children’s Fund inaugurating an anti-human trafficking desk at the Aflao Immigration control under the auspices of the Migration Management Bureau of the service.
Mr. Thomas Antong, Commander of the Aflao Sector of the Ghana Immigration Service during an inaugural section of the desk at Aflao in the Ketu North District said the establishment of such desk would create a more stumbling block for the illegal trade
Mr Antong pointed out that the desk would get tough on human trafficking and called on other law enforcement agencies to support and assist the service since anti-human trafficking must be everybody’s business to expose, challenging and bringing into justice recruiters, transporters as well as users of the services
Madam Judith Dzokoto, Assistant Director of Migration Management Bureau of the Ghana Immigration Service, noted that the expansion of the anti-human trafficking desk to the borders would enhance the knowledge and skills of the officers in the cause of their duties while also exposing the tricks of the trade, irrespective of the challenges ahead