The Centre for Migration Studies (CMS), University of Ghana, has trained more than 60 security officers in migration management and migrants’ rights.
The workshop is to enhance capacity of the personnel to manage migration and provide a platform to discuss the role of security officials in the protection of migrants’ rights in Ghana.
The beneficiary institutions included the Immigration Service, the Ghana Armed Forces, the Prisons Service, National Fire Service, and the Ghana Police Service.
The training was as a result of the outcomes of the Migration for Development and Equality (MIDEQ) Research conducted by the Centre.
Professor Joseph Teye, the Director of Research, Office of Research, Innovation and Development, University of Ghana, Legon, said the MIDEQ research revealed that there had been instances the security personnel had violated the rights of south-south migrants at the borders.
The MIDEQ project is being funded by the UK Research and Innovation and the Global Challenges Research Fund, which worked with a global network of partners in 12 countries, involving over 100 institutions.
Prof Teye, also the lead of the Consortium of Researchers who worked on the project, said throughout the studies, it was clear that some migrants, especially the rich who had influence, also violated the citizens’ rights and called for a holistic approach to ensuring that everybody, including migrants, have their rights protected as enshrined in the global charters.
Dr Mary Boatemaa Setrana, the Director of CMS, looking at the gender dimension, noted that women and children formed the majority of migrants and very vulnerable when it came to protection of their rights.
“They are mostly in vulnerable situations, they may have no education, the power to negotiate is also low and so they find themselves being exploited mostly than men,” she added.
Dr Setrana emphasised the need to find ways of assisting that category of migrants at the country’s entry points and exits.
Mr Isaac Owusu Mensah, the Deputy Comptroller General of Immigration in-charge of Finance and Administration, called for collaborated efforts by stakeholders to ensure the protection of migrants’ right in Ghana.
He also re-echoed the need to set up Information Management Centres in some parts of the country to create the necessary awareness on migrants’ rights and protection, and other migration related information.
He, therefore, pledged the Service’s preparedness to work with CMS to improve Migration issues in the country.
Naval Captain Veronica Adzo Arhin, the Gender Policy Adviser to the Chief of Defence Staff, urged the personnel to use their authorities judiciously to protect the rights of migrants as well as the citizenry.
There have been conscious efforts, over the years, to ensure the protection of migrants’ rights as enshrined in many charters across the globe, and an integral part of migration management.
The United Nations estimates over 280 million international migrants world wide, some of whom migrate to other countries for greener pastures while others are forced out due to climate change, violence, and conflicts.