IOM trains social workers in Ghana to better assist child trafficking survivors

Published Date: 
Tue, 11/24/2020 - 17:15
Country: 
Ghana

Throughout September and October 2020, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in Ghana ran a series of trainings for officers from the Department of Social Welfare (DSW) to empower them with theoretical knowledge and practical skills to comprehensively combat child trafficking and address the needs of victims.

A hundred and thirty-six social workers from six regions (Eastern, Bono East, Greater Accra, Oti, Central and Volta Regions), including from the Department of Social Welfare in Accra, participated in a series of six trainings.

The training helped the social workers to better understand trafficking in persons (TIP), identify trends and appropriate referral mechanisms to tackle the problem, identify and meet the needs of child victims of trafficking, understand the concept of the child’s best interest and rights of child victims of trafficking, and acquire the knowledge and skills to screen and provide trauma-informed direct services to child victims of trafficking.

The social welfare officers acquired knowledge on the adequate application of the Standard Operating Procedures to Combat Human Trafficking in Ghana, with an emphasis on child trafficking, which had been developed by IOM in partnership with the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection and launched in October 2017.

“Following the launch of the SOPs in 2017, it is key for the social workers at the frontlines to be familiar with the existing measures to mitigate the consequences of child trafficking, to be aware of national and international prevention and protection protocols, and to strengthen their skills and experiences addressing the needs of the victims of trafficking,” explains Victoria Klimova, Project Manager at IOM Ghana.

The training were positively received by the participating social workers, one of whom states that “the training content was very educational and useful for my daily work. It was inspiring to hear about the experiences and challenges of other officers in other districts and establish a network for further collaboration across the region.”

Data collection was one of the challenges addressed during the training. The training was crucial to enhance capacity on the use of the SOPs’ case management forms for data collection and reporting on trafficking cases from the district, regional to national levels to promote the standardization of indicators reported on all levels.

“For IOM and our partners these training and exchanges with the social workers were a valuable opportunity to identify challenges they experience on the ground, which will inform any future interventions to combat child trafficking in Ghana, and reconfirmed the need of strong cooperation and coordination from all actors involved,” says Abibatou Wane-Fall, IOM Ghana Chief of Mission.

The training were made possible through funding from the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons, United States Department of State (J/TIP).

For more information please contact Victoria Klimova at IOM Ghana at VKLIMOVA@iom.int