Any seconder to the motion?
chairman of the committee (Mrs. Esther obeng-Dappah): Mr. Speaker, I rise to present the Committee's Report.
Mr. Speaker, the Human Trafficking Bill was presented and read the First
[HAJIA MAHAMA] time in the House on Friday, 17th June 2005. It was referred to the Committee on Gender and Children for consideration and report in accordance with Order 175 of the Standing Orders of Parliament.
Trafficking in persons is a violation of many international laws and Human Rights Protocols. Human trafficking is conducted by persons or group of persons who may operate within national or across international borders.
The victims of human trafficking are often denied their basic freedoms and forced to work as prostitutes, labourers, domestic servants, child soldiers, fisher boys and girls to mention a few. The victims may be routinely raped, tortured and brutalized.
However, in Ghana there is no specific legislation against this dehumanising practice and therefore there is a need for a passage of this Bill.
The Committee in its deliberations made reference to the following documents:
The Const i tut ion of the Republic of Ghana;
The Standing Orders of the Parliament of Ghana; The Criminal Procedure Code, 1960 (Act 30);
The Children's Act, 1998 (Act
Labour Act, 2003 (Act 651);
West African States Agreement on Plan to Combat Human Trafficking (27th December
C182 Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention, 1999; and
Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, supplementing the United Nations Convention a g a i n s t Tr a n s n a t i o n a l Organised Crime.
In considering the Bill, the Committee held a number of meetings and workshops at Elmina and Akosombo respectively where the hon. Minister for Women and Children's Affairs, Hajia Alima Mahama, her deputy, the Deputy Minister for Manpower Development, Youth and Employment and other resource persons briefed hon. Members of the Committee on the Bill.
M r. S p e a k e r, i n v i e w o f the importance of the Bill, the Committee invited memoranda and held discussions with many stakeholders. The following stakeholders submitted memoranda to your Committee:
(a) Adventist Development Relief Agency (ADRA), Ghana
(b) Ghana Immigration Service
( c ) B r i t i s h C o u n c i l , Commonwealth Human Right
Initiative (d) LAWA-Ghana
(e) UNICEF, Ghana
(f) US Embassy
(g) Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD)
(h) Centre for Social Policy and Studies (CSPC)
( i ) Internat ional Labour Organisation (ILO)
(j) International Organisation for Migration (IOM)
(k) NGO Coalition on the Right of the Child
(l) Ghana Employers Association
(m) The Ark Foundation, Ghana
(n) Ghana Parliamentary Centre.
The Committee wishes to express its gratitude to the immense contributions of the Minister for Women and Children's Affairs, hon. Hajia Alima Mahama and her Deputy, hon. Mr. J. B. Danquah Adu, and the Deputy Minister for Manpower Development, Youth and Employment, hon. Mrs. Akosua Frema Osei-Opare, the Chief Directors, Legal and Technical Officers and all other resource persons, for their invaluable contributions during its deliberations.
The Committee as required by Standing Order 175 accordingly
presents the following report: 6.0 Purpose of the Bill
The Bill seeks to prevent, suppress and punish persons or group of persons who engage in Human Trafficking. The Committee considered the Bill clause-by-clause and presents the topical issues as follows:
7.0 Provisions of the Bill
7.1. The Committee recommends that the short title of the Bill should be “Anti-Human Trafficking Act”.
7.2. Clause 1
(a) Subclause (1)
T h e m e a n i n g o f “ H u m a n Trafficking” has been expanded and redrafted to include trafficking of persons within and across national borders as follows:
“(1) human trafficking means the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring, trading or receipt of persons within and across national borders by:
(a) the use of threats, force or other forms of coercion, abduction, fraud, deception, the abuse of power or exploitation of vulnerability,
(b ) g iv ing o r rece iv ing payments and eg benefits to achieve consent.”
(b) Subclause (2)
The Committee proposes a new rendition with the deletion of “people smuggling” and “human beings” to read as follows:
“(2) Exploitation shall include, ‘at the minimum' induced prostitution and other forms of sexual exploitation, forced labour or services, slavery or practices similar to slavery, servitude or the removal of organs ‘for sale or for ritual purposes'.”
The deletion of “human beings” is to avoid repetition, since “prostitution” automatically does not refer to any other living thing. People smuggling on the other hand is a cross-national border activity, while trafficking in persons takes place both within and across national borders. The new rendition therefore makes the subclause more meaningful.
7.3. Clause 2 (1) (a) and (b)
The Committee proposes a redraft of paragraph (a) of subclause (1) to read as follows:
“(1) a person shall not traffick another person within the meaning of clause (1) or acts as an intermediary for the trafficking of a person.”
The prohibition of trafficking as contained in the subclause (1) does not convey the exact meaning in clause 1 (1), hence the amendment.
Clause 3 (1)
The Committee proposes that the