Government has set up an inter-ministerial taskforce to crack down on illegal recruitment agencies which export young Ghanaian ladies to Arabian countries as house helps only to be maltreated and sometimes killed.
The taskforce which includes the Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Interior, Labour and Employment also has, as one of its core duties to sign a Memorandum of Understanding with Arabian countries who make use of these house helps to treat them with dignity.
The taskforce has become necessary following many reports of dehumanizing treatment meted out to Ghanaians who render services to their hosts in countries like Jordan, United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Saudi Arabia.
A typical example is the story of the 21-year-old Amina who was reportedly gang raped and left pregnant in Saudi Arabia last year.
Amina, like many others, were promised destiny-changing salaries, agreements and conditions of services by some of these fictitious recruiting agencies before leaving the country.
Eventually when they return, if they are lucky, their destinies truly change but to the worse.
Labour Minister Haruna Iddrisu told Joy News the abuse and maltreatment of Ghanaians have gone on for too long and the time for government to act is now.
According to him, the taskforce will work to streamline the activities of the recruiting agencies in the country and to ensure that they abide by the service regulations.
The minister said over 200 recruiting agencies exist, many of which have not registered with the Labour office which makes their operations illegal.
He added the police and the immigration service which are part of the taskforce will begin to fish out these illegal agencies and take action against the owners.
At the moment, the government has been able to sign the MOU with Jordan with the protective clauses that Ghanaians whose services are exported are treated with dignity.
Haruna Iddrisu said efforts are being made to sign same with Qatar, Saudi Arabia, countries notorious for the maltreatment of Ghanaian house helps.
“For every other country now, our policy decision is to negotiate an MOU, sign onto the MOU and ensure there are clauses that protect them for instance medical care, the right to be repatriated back decently and to have access to have airline back when their services are no longer required,” he said.
He said he has charged the “Chief Labour Officer to advertise the known 22 agencies that are accredited and licensed by government and any person dealing with any other entity which is not known to us will do so at his own risk and peril,” he stated.