Over 100,000 people are estimated to be living in modern slavery in Ghana today, ranking the country 34th with high rate of modern slavery, a new report by the Global Slavery Index has revealed.
Forced labour accounts for 85 per cent of those enslaved in the country while forced marriage represents 15 per cent, the report, which was released yesterday morning, quoted.
It listed farming, fishing, retail sales, manual labour and factory work as the sectors that accounted for 85 per cent of those enslaved in forced labour in Ghana.
“In Ghana, survey results suggest that there are an estimated 103,300 people enslaved in that country, of which 85 per cent are in forced labour and 15 per cent are in formed marriage,” the report stated.
The Global Slavery Index, which is spearheaded by the Walk Free Foundation, provides a country-by-country estimate of the number of people living in modern slavery in today’s world and the steps being taken by governments to respond to this issue.
A total of 167 countries were ranked in the 2016 study. The report mentioned economic conditions, violent conflict and territorial displacement, in addition to widespread humanitarian and environmental crises, as the factors accounting for modern slavery in the region.
According to the report, the vulnerability of Ghanaians to modern slavery stands at 41.5 per 100 people, adding: “The exploitation of children is prevalent in the [sub-Sahara] region. In Ghana, it is estimated that 21,000 child slaves currently work in the Ghanaian fishing industry along Lake Volta and its surrounds.”
According to the report, sub-Saharan Africa accounted for approximately 13.6 per cent of the world’s total enslaved population of 45.8 million people in 167 countries.
It named the Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan and Mauritania as the countries with the highest rates of modern slavery.
“As evident from surveys conducted in Ghana, Nigeria, South Africa and Ethiopia by Walk Free Foundation, slavery in sub-Saharan Africa takes the form of forced labour and forced marriage,” the report revealed.
Commenting on the report, Communications Manager for Challenging Heights, Ms Pomaa said although the report is a reflection that Ghana is making some progress in bringing an end to modern slavery, more needed to be done.
“In 2014, the Global Slavery Index ranked Ghana 21st in the world and 8th in sub-Saharan Africa, with an estimated 193,100 people enslaved. It is good news that our prevalence rate is dropping but we shouldn’t forget that there are still 103,300 trapped in slavery in the country,” she said.
“It is estimated that there are 21,000 enslaved on the Lake Volta but the government’s responses in all areas of combating slavery such as prevention, protection, prosecution and policy implementation are very slow,” she added.
Ms Arthur urged the general public to take the issue of human trafficking and modern slavery seriously and make it their business to join the fight against the menace.