Oti Regional Police Command, IJM Rescue 10 Children on  Volta Lake

Ten children who had been forced into fishing on the Volta Lake have been rescued in two separate operations by the Oti Regional Police Command, the Departments of Social Welfare (DSW) of Krachie East and Biakoye Districts, and the International Justice Mission (IJM).

The dual operation, which launched on the 5th and 7th of October, saved 9 and 1 child, respectively. Seven of these survivors were classified as victims of child trafficking, while the other three were identified as victims of hazardous child labour.

This information was contained in a press release issued by International Justice Mission-Ghana and copied to mydailynewsonline.com.

The First Rescue

The rescue happened in the early hours of Wednesday, October 5 in Adakope in the Krachie East District of the Oti Region. Six trafficked children and 3 others in forced labour were rescued.

Five suspects (boat masters) were arrested. The survivors, aged 9 to 16 years, were subjected to neglect and emotional abuse.

They were used by their boat masters for hazardous fishing activities on Volta Lake. This included hook and line and bamboo fishing.

At the time of rescue, many of them suffered from Malaria, STIs, skin infections, bilharzia, oral hygiene, and malnutrition.

Per assessments, most of the survivors attended school before they had gone to live with the boat masters. Over half of them however dropped out due to the impossible demands of the work. Those who managed to remain in school had to struggle through the exhaustion of waking up before dawn to fish.

The Trafficking Many of the children recounted that they were trafficked to the lake by their maternal aunties in exchange for an agreed amount of money.

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Although most of the suspects were not directly involved in the recruitment of the survivors, close family members served as middlemen to send these survivors to the suspects. Some of the survivors and in some cases their parents were promised compensation.

Setor who was promised 800 Cedis per year had worked for two years and not been paid. Another, Fosu, explained his grandmother received 500 Cedis, whilst he was given 10 Cedis on Sundays. Leslie, 12, received 10 Cedis for days he goes fishing.

The survivors were usually tasked to work extra hours with the hope of being compensated with money for the work done.

Below is the full report :




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