Latest Update On Tuesday, 18 June 2013 - 20:11 GMT+00
NGO premieres sex slave movie
An hour docu-drama movie, titled “Bondage” has been primiered at the offices of the Foundation for Security and Development in Africa (FOSDA) to highlight the disturbing trend of human trafficking particularly among young girls and women, who are often used as sex slaves in the West African sub region.
The movie, which was directed by Afi Yakubu, is aimed at bringing to the fore, the aged long menace of human trafficking with its resultant incidence of forced labour and the kinds of ordeals that victims undergo in their quest to ‘taste’ the horrifying city lives.
The one hour scentillating movie based on a true story of a typical village girl depicts how traffickers usually called ‘madams’, exploit these girls mostly from poor background and deluding them into believing that they (the madams) have decent jobs for them in the cities where they could make it in life.
The main character, Mariam, is an obidient village girl from a humble background with high hopes of making it in the city. Unknown to Mariam, her madam is a human trafficker, who operates a brothel where some of these trafficked girls reside.
Mariam’s madam kept custody of her (Mariam) travelling documents with the hope that she hands them over to her after she had been able to defray her debt being cost of transportation incurred by the so-called madam.
The twist of events, with constant harassments from men, eventually turns Mariam from a shy village girl into a more hardened city girl in order to shrug off sexual advances from men.
The movie is a stuck reminder of a glimmer desperate situation on how policy makers and implementers have allowed such abhorrent practices to gain grounds with the view of provoking a national debate about the issue for policy makers and other stakeholders to act.
Speaking after the showcase, the Executive Director of FOSDA, Afi Yakubu berated the lack of safety nets in the country for such victims of forced labour to fall into. She said the situation was very much alive even as of today.
According to her, as of the time the movie was produced in 1993, it was almost a taboo to talk about the plight of such victims, stressing that her drive for breaking the jinx was to uncover the truth about the activities of such ‘madams’ in trafficking very innocent girls both within and across the West African sub region.
Ms. Yakubu added that her journey to uncover the alleged acts took her to neighbouring countries like Burkina Faso, Togo, Benin and Nigeria to see at first hand the horrific situation and treatments meted out to these trafficked victims.
“There ought not to be only measures at rescuing such girls but equally ways of helping such victims out of their predicaments,” she said.
The Executive Director continued that her outfit would soon roll out a comprehensive programme aimed at bringing stakeholders together to look into some aspects of the Domestic Violence Act, which sought to address some of these issues of forced labour.
A representative from the United Nations Women’s office (UN Women), Efua Ansre commended FOSDA for the initiative, promising a greater collaboration between the UN Women and FOSDA.
Ghana has recently come under international radar for being a transit point for trafficked children and women for the purposes of forced labour and commercial sexual exploitation.
According to extracts from the 2009 United States Department of Trafficking in Persons report, Ghana is a source, transit and destination country for children and women trafficked for the purposes of forced labor and commercial sexual exploitation.
Trafficking within the country is more prevalent than transnational trafficking and the majority of victims are children.
Both boys and girls are trafficked within Ghana for forced labor in agriculture and the fishing industry, street hawking, begging for alms by religious instructors, as porters among others.
Over 30,000 children are believed to be working as head porters or ‘Kayaye’ in Accra alone.
The report also accuses the Government of Ghana of not fully complying with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking. However, it is making significant efforts to do so, despite limited resources.
The report recommended increased efforts to prosecute and convict trafficking offenders, including those who subject children to forced labor at the Volta lake fishing site and those engaged in forcing youngsters into prostitution.