The 17-year-old prostitute at circle

 13-year-old Nigerian girl was lured by her friend to come with her to Ghana. What she thought was going to be an opportunity for her life to improve from what she had experienced in Nigeria, soon turned out to be something akin to a death sentence.

When they arrived, the friend handed her over to a madam who unknowingly was in the business of prostituting young girls to pay back her investment into child trafficking. This madam kept her locked up and charged her an amount of GH¢5,000 and she was to be released when she had finished paying her that amount.

The horrifying thing was that, she was to pay back the amount through prostitution. Just put yourself in the shoes of this innocent girl, who out of poverty has run away from home in faraway Nigeria and has travelled to Ghana only to be confronted with this ordeal.

This is what is going on right here in our country Ghana and this wicked and evil practice should be brought to an abrupt end. It is one of the failings of our ministry of Gender and Social Protection as well as the Ministry of Interior, specifically the Ghana Police Service, which is the organisation di­rectly charged with the responsibility of crime prevention and law enforce­ment under the Ministry of Interior.

Very wicked and evil people are in our society, moving about in various communities as decent people but are the very opposite of how they por­tray themselves in society. They put on such an act that one would never associate them with anything evil and yet they are wolves in sheepskin. It would take the intervention of fate to reveal the true identity of such evil people like the madam who enslaved this poor 13-year-old in the sex trade.

A statement that has stuck in my mind as I listened to the narrative of the 13-year-old girl on TV was “…they use as anyhow…” referring to the men she is compelled to sleep with on a daily basis for survival. It tore at my heart as a parent and tears were in my eyes.

Again what saddened me was the confession by the journalist who car­ried the story that, the girl is now a ‘wee’ smoker because she has to drug herself in order to face the ordeal she suffers at the hands of the men she had sex with.

Apparently, she is currently 17 and is also on her own after paying off the debt owed the wicked madam who had sacked her from the place she used to house her. The question that kept running through my mind was what is going to be the future of this young lady? Will she live long on earth given the risk of a wide range of diseases she is exposed to, as a result of sleeping with all these men?

There is an urgent need for pub­lic sensitisation to report suspicions of child trafficking to the relevant authorities. The public must be edu­cated on signs to look for which gives an indication of trafficked persons. A hotline must also be established to aid in the reporting of such incidents to the appropriate agencies.

Such channels must be confidential so that the people who report such incidents would feel safe and moti­vated enough to report suspicions of trafficking. We should see human traf­ficking as an evil that must be eradi­cated from our society. This particular madam must be traced and arrested and prosecuted.

Her arrest and subsequent prose­cution must be given wide publicity such that it will serve as a deterrent to other people indulged in this evil practice of human trafficking and sex trade. This evil practice is a blot on our conscience as a nation with noble values and everything possible must be done to protect the Ghanaian and West African youth especially the girl child, to ensure our collective future is secured.

By Laud Kissi-Mensah

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