By Robert Anane/Jacqueline Appiagyei, GNA
Accra, Aug 21, GNA - The youth, especially young women, have been urged to be wary of people who entice them to travel overseas, with the promise of lucrative employment.
This is because many young people have been deceived into forced prostitution and other forms of forced labour, after being lured into other countries by dubious agents.
Mr David Kwame Darko, Re-integration Assistant, International Organisation for Migration (IOM), said this on Wednesday in Accra, at a conference dubbed, "Addressing the Vulnerabilities of the Twenty First Century Woman in the context of Irregular Migration and Unemployment."
He said the natural yearn in people, especially the youth to seek progress, coupled with the notion held by many that "the grass is greener on the other side", accounted for irregular migration.
Mr Darko noted that while migration could be beneficial when done the right way, irregular migration ended up in torment and even fatality.
He said awareness creation on the realities of irregular migration, was most needed to save the youth from embarking on risk filled journeys that ended fatally, in the name of striving to improve on their lives.
Dr. Rose Mensah Kutin, West African Regional Director, ABANTU for Development, a women's rights organisation, said it was important for state mandated organisations, such as the National Commission for Civic Education, to ensure thorough public education on migration.
She noted that with the tendency for people to travel being natural, it was only right for education on travel to be as wide spread as possible.
Dr Kutin said this would prevent prospective travelers from getting into avoidable challenges.
Dr Gifty Anti, renowned broadcaster, said it was unfortunate that some people returned from their overseas travels, to give false impressions of glamour and prosperity to their colleagues back home, without telling them the truth of what really happened.
She reminded young people that while some might find success in other countries, others could easily become successful from working hard in their home country, adding, "What counts is your determination and not necessarily traveling to a particular country."
Mr. Eugene Narh Korletey, Chief Labour Officer, Ministry of Employment and Labor Relations, in a speech read on behalf of Mr. Ignatius Baffour Awuah,the sector Minister, said the Ministry ensured that licensed private employment agencies, mandated to recruit Ghanaian labour for employment overseas, complied with the law.
He said the real benefits of labour migration included; improved living standards, a reduction in unemployment in the sending country, and supply of needed skills in the receiving country.
Mr Korletey noted that the creation of illegal enterprises and networks in both migrant receiving and sending countries, adversely affected the potential gains from the labour export.
He said many young women from sub-saharan Africa had become victims of human trafficking in their quest to improve economically.
"Information shows that many young ladies have fallen victim to illegal recruitment agents, and have been subjected to harrowing experiences," Mr Korletey said, adding that the development necessitated the temporary ban imposed by the government on labour exports to the Gulf States, with the objective of sanitising the industry.
He said the government was putting in place more measures to halt the activities of uncouth travel agents, whose activities were tarnishing the image of Ghana.
The programme was organised by the Ghanaian-German centre for Jobs, Migration and Re-integration.