The Anti-Human Trafficking Unit (ATHU) at the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) Headquarters, the Marine Police Unit with support from the Eastern Regional Police Command in collaboration with International Justice Mission (IJM) and the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection have rescued 24 male children from the Volta Lake.
The Police during the operation arrested 16 suspects who are currently on police enquiry bail assisting with investigations.
The rescued victims whose age range between 7 and 16 years are currently being sheltered and undergoing counselling, medical screening and rehabilitation.
The joint rescue mission, which took place on January 24, 2017, is in line with the Police Administration’s collaborative efforts with partners to end child trafficking and forced labour on the Volta Lake and other parts of the country.
IJM, which is a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) is also supporting the Department of Social Welfare and some shelters to ensure housing, care, education and support for these children as part of their restoration and rehabilitation processes.
A statement signed by Director-General of the Criminal Investigations Department added trafficking is an offence under the Human Trafficking Act,2005 (Act 694) and parents are advised not to allow their children to be trafficked or sold into forced labour for monetary gains.
The statement also cautioned Parents and guardians to be wary of people and relatives who approach them for their children under the guise of helping to put them in schools in the cities.
The statement concluded by calling on the Police Service to continue to work with government agencies, IJM and other interest groups to end child trafficking and forced labour in Ghana through sensitization, rescue operations, protection of victims and prosecution of offenders.