February 27th, U.S. Ambassador to Ghana Gene A. Cretz served as keynote speaker at the launch of the International Justice Mission office in Ghana and announced Ghana is being considered as the first country to partner in a Child Protection Compact Partnership (CPC Partnership). The program contemplates developing jointly with Ghana a multi-year plan to implement new and more effective policies and programs to reduce child trafficking and improve child protection in Ghana. The Partnership aims to bolster the current efforts of the Government of Ghana and civil society organizations to address child sex trafficking and forced child labor in Ghana. The partnership would be a five-year, $5 million innovative effort to combat child trafficking.
Ghana’s selection was based in part on the Government of Ghana’s commitment to partner with the United States and the strength of the NGOs and international organizations working to combat modern-day slavery in Ghana. The Cabinet of the Government of Ghana’s recent approval of a memorandum for the ratification of the 1993 Hague Convention on Inter-Country Adoptions; amendment of the Children’s Act; and, establishment of the Child and Family Welfare Policy confirmed that Ghana is the right partner for the CPC Partnership. “When we work in conformity with internationally recognized norms and processes and tighten legislative loopholes the needs of vulnerable children are also served,” the Ambassador noted.
International Justice Mission Office Director Kaign Christy announced that this was the organization’s 18th global office, and noted that the organization would focus on eliminating forced child labor in the Volta region.