The International Organisation for Migration (IOM) has raised concern about increasing reports of Ghanaian female migrants being abused in the Middle East.
The organisation says 2,000 women departed from Ghana to work in the Middle East between September 2014 and January 2015 alone but over 350 of them have returned from countries like Kuwait and Jordan with cases of inhumane working conditions, physical and emotional torture, as well as sexual exploitation.
The Project Officer at the IOM, Kojo Wilmot, has, therefore, called on government and other agencies to address the problem immediately.
“These stories are rampant. We keep hearing about it day in and day out and we feel that something really need to be done to really manage this situation,” he told Joy News' Joseph Opoku Gakpo.
This is not the first time IOM has raised this alarm.
Last year, the organisation, in partnership with the Walk Free Foundation (WFF) called on governments to take more concrete action to protect migrant workers amid worsening conditions in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.
In a report titled ‘The Other Migrant Crisis: Protecting migrant workers against exploitation in the Middle East and North Africa’ the two non-governmental organisations exposed the conditions faced by migrant workers who are trafficked and exploited across MENA.
“The data compiled from interviews with 162 victims reveals alarming trends:
100 per cent of workers had their passports withheld, 87 per cent were confined to their workplace; 76 percent had wages withheld; 73 percent suffered psychological abuse; and 61 percent endured physical abuse,” according to a statement released about the report.
Speaking to Joy News, Kojo Wilmot urged the government to intensify sensitization on the issue.
"We have partnered with the Ghana Immigration Service to set up a Migration Information Centre in Sunyani which the one-stop-shop where potential migrants can go for accurate and reliable information so that they will travel informed.
“Most Ghanaian migrants also fall prey to fraudulent recruitment agencies so they can also check the legitimacy of these recruitment agencies before they even engage their services,” he said.
IOM is the leading inter-governmental organisation in the field of migration and works closely with governmental, intergovernmental and non-governmental partners.