Ghana has made progress in combating child labour and trafficking, Joel Maybury, Acting Principal Deputy Director, Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons at U.S. Department of State, has said.
He said there is evidence to indicate that Ghana was making progress in combating child labour and trafficking.
Mr Maybury, who disclosed this during an interaction with some senior Ghanaian government officials on the US-Ghana Child Protection Compact (CPC) partnership in Accra, on Wednesday, for instance, said there was increased public awareness on child labour and trafficking.
Ghana and the U.S signed the CPC Partnership in 2015, to among others, combat child labour and trafficking, under the five-year programme, which would end in 2020.
Following that, the U.S government had allocated $5 million to support initiatives to tackle child labour and trafficking in Greater Accra, Central and Volta regions.
For instance, it is estimated that about 1.2 million children are engaged in child labour in Ghana and as a result the country had been placed on the U.S Tier 3 Watch List and this had denied the country some development aid.
Mr Maybury who is leading a U.S delegation for the second review and progress of the CPC following the first review last year, and accompanied by the Charge d' Affaires of the US Embassy in Accra, Christopher J. Lamora, however, said there were some outstanding challenges Ghana needed to address.
He said adequate services were not available to rehabilitate persons who had been trafficked, influence and obstruction in prosecuting people engaged in child trafficking and inadequate funding for child labour and trafficking, and urged the government to take steps to address those challenges.
The Minister of Employment and Labour Relations, Ignatius Baffour Awuah, said children constitute an important future human resource of the country and government was committed to protecting children of the country, which was why Ghana signed the CPC partnership with the U.S government.
Currently, he said, government had placed a ban on migration to some of the Middle East and Gulf countries until the necessary protocols were established before the ban would be lifted.
The Deputy Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection, Gifty Twum Ampofo, said government was against child labour and trafficking and therefore, had developed the Anti Human Trafficking Law and the Children's Act to check the practice.
The Director of Public Prosecutions under the Ministry of Justice and Attorney General, Mrs Yvonne Atakora-Obuobisa, said a lot of prosecutions had been made since the CPC partnership was signed.