General News of Tuesday, 7 February 2017
The Anti-human trafficking Civil Society Organisation (CSO), Challenging Heights, has rescued some eighteen trafficked children from the Lake Volta.
The children, aged between 5 and 17, before their rescue, served as child-slaves to fishermen on the lake.
Child trafficking in the fishing industry has been a problem for the Ghanaian government for several decades.
It is estimated that there are over 21,000 children working on the Volta Lake alone, and there are several thousands more going through various forms of abuse in the hands of slave masters.
In 2005, government of Ghana passed the Human Trafficking law, making human trafficking a criminal offense, punishable by at least 5 years imprisonment.
The country has over the last two years stagnated in the ‘Trafficking in Persons’ report due to the little or no commitment to the fight against human trafficking.
This has compelled Civil Society Organisations like Challenging Heights to lead the fight to eradicate the menace in the country.
Already, the organisation has rescued over 1,500 in the last twelve years.
Challenging Heights works in several communities across Ghana to rescue, rehabilitate and re-integrate children who have been affected by worst forms of child labour, including trafficking. The organisation, which recently launched its new 5-year strategic plan, is also involved with the provision of livelihoods training and support for several hundred of women who are affected by trafficking.
The anti-human trafficking CSO is asking government to provide the necessary resources for the Human Trafficking Department of the Ghana Police Service, and the Human Trafficking Secretariat of the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection, to have the capacity to deal decisively with the issue of human trafficking, especially in the fishing industry.
The 18 rescued children, are currently going through rehabilitation at the organisation’s rehabilitation centre.