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Human Trafficking: The Journey from Child Slavery to Freedom in Ghana, Africa

Elevate Christian Network :: News and Events

Human Trafficking - The Journey from Child Slavery to Freedom

In the Lake Volta region of Ghana, Africa, 1 in 3 children are child laborers. | Image courtesy: compassion.com

Lake Volta in Ghana, Africa, is the largest human-made lake in the world. But hundreds of fishermen (or, more accurately, fisherboys) are not there by choice. They’re trafficked into the horrors of child labor on the lake; their families deceived, their former lives as distant as dreams.

“Sometimes, the [traffickers] name towns very close to the child’s community as the destination,” says Henry. “But in actual fact, they take [the children] very far away, where [they can never find their] way back home.”

Human Trafficking in the Fishing Industry

Lake Volta’s fishing industry is a significant element of Ghana’s economy, but it’s built on the backs of vulnerable children, most of whom are younger than 10. The trafficked are given the most dangerous and difficult jobs. They’re subjected to more intense violence. They work longer hours and have their food and pay withheld.

Households living in extreme poverty like Ebenezer’s are the most vulnerable to traffickers.  Ebenezer was just an infant when his mother died, leaving him orphaned. His grandmother, Comfort, came to collect him and take him back to her home in Greater Accra.

“I take care of nine grandchildren,” says Comfort. “Their fathers have abandoned them.”  Ebenezer was 6 years old when a man appeared at his grandmother’s house.

False Promises of a Better Life

He owned a fishing boat, he explained. He was looking for boys to come and work on the waters of Lake Volta, to learn the ways of the fishing boats.  He promised a good job, a steady wage, enough food, a safe place to sleep.  His promises were as empty as his smile.

“I [don’t] have the financial means to provide for [my grandchildren] the way I really want, but God gives me the energy to labor to feed them and myself.”  So when the man, a relative, offered to take three of the children to work on his fishing boat, she was torn.

But they would have something to eat and somewhere to sleep, and she would have a little more for the children who remained.  Like Comfort, most caregivers who entrust their children to the lake’s embrace believe that they will live in decent conditions. Trafficking is illegal in Ghana. But on the water, there is no law.

Transforming Children’s Lives

Compassion International works to transform the lives of individual children and encourage their long-term development through local churches like Henry’s. The Child Sponsorship Program connects one sponsor with one child living in poverty so they can invest in that child’s safety and future.|   Read the full story…. blog.compassion.com

 

 

Children in Poverty: Rescuing the Future | Compassion International

(Compassion International) We need to speak for those who cannot speak for themselves and for the rights of those who are destitute. Investing in the lives of children living in poverty is the best investment you will ever make.

 

 

Across the web:

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Cee Harmon is founder of Elevate Christian Network and Elevate Your Potential Magazine. He enjoys helping people improve the quality of their lives - spirit, soul, and body.
 
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