CHAPTER ONE RESEARCH DESIGN Background to Research Problem Statement
International Relations principally emerged to foster international cooperation among countries in order to manage global threats or crises that beset the international system.1 In an international system with the absence of a central authority regulating it, international security is one of the main driving forces that helps keep the system together. For many years, security was largely conceptualized in terms of national security issues relating to the territorial integrity of borders, sanctity of sovereignty, safety of government and continued existence of the state.2 However, after the Cold War, the scope and definition of security, even international security, happen to have been expanded and considered in a more holistic term, placing emphasis on human security dimensions.3 The traditional sense of security, largely perceived in military requisite and external to state, has given way to other matters that are transnational in nature, and affect human security, such as proliferation of small arms and light weapons, organized crime, human rights, migration related security threats, among others.4
Security, though not discarding its traditional notion, has increasingly been defined in transnational and human security terms based on upsurge in cross-border issues including money laundering, terrorism, human trafficking, human smuggling, drugs, weapons, kidnapping, arms trafficking and the like that affect countries globally. Following the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the US in 2001, some dysfunctional aspects of migration associated with terrorism, human trafficking and money laundering have been perceived as transnational perils to world security and peace. 5 This research
is concerned with the menace of trafficking in persons, the dangers it proposes to the rights of victims and the efforts of the international community; specifically, the role the International Organization for Migration (IOM), an intergovernmental organisation concerned with issues on migration has played in preventing this cruel business in human commodity in Ghana.
Human trafficking is the prohibited trade in human beings for the purposes of forced labour or commercial sexual abuse. It is a modern-day form of slavery, an act that comprises the illicit movement of persons from one country to another or internally from one area of a state to another for exploitative purposes. The victims are often exploited for prostitution, slavery, forced labour or removal of human organs.6 Since its abolition in 1800, many people today, perceive slavery as a thing of the past, but this social canker rests all too real in today’s world in various forms such as child labour, forced prostitution, trafficking for organs, forced labour and others. The ordeals and numbing effects of the cruelties Africa experienced during the slave trade for four centuries before its abolition are better forgotten than relived. However, it is a sad commentary on human civilization that our twenty-first century is presently bedevilled by modern day forms of trade in humans under dehumanizing conditions.
Trafficking in persons was an European concept which denoted the trafficking of women for sexual exploitation. It was always considered a gender-based practice as females in the 1900s were usually trafficked mostly for sex trade, and to a less extent, domestic labour. However, the international community realizing that men and children were also trafficked and exploited for forced labour, based on the wants of the destination, ballooned the position of human trafficking
on the radar screens of international diplomacy.7 Today boys are equally being trafficked for sexual and forced labour exploitation.
Typically, millions of persons are being trafficked annually; billions of dollars are being raked; and the dastardly practice is increasing.8 “According to the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime (UNODC)” in its 2016 report, “the term modern slavery has recently been used in the context of different practices or crimes such as trafficking in persons, forced labour, and slavery, as well as child labour, forced marriages and others. The common denominator of these crimes is that they are all forms of exploitation in which one person is under the control of another.”9 Based on the global interest in trafficking of persons, Walk Free Foundation, an advocacy organisation against trafficking in persons and the International Labour Organisation (ILO) in collaboration with the IOM, in a report released in September 2017, estimated that some 40.3 million people became victims of modern-day “slavery” in 2016.10 Records of estimated victims of trafficking vary world-wide due to challenges in gathering precise statistics on the number of trafficked victims, public mix-up, and the clandestine and illegal nature of the phenomenon.