IJM Ghana Partner Conducts Their First Rescue
In February of this year, IJM Ghana provided training and mentoring to CARITAS Ghana on how to support local authorities to carry out investigations, conduct rescues and provide social support in cases of child trafficking. Four months later on June 29th, CARITAS, the Department of Social Welfare for Ghana and the police rescued three children suspected of being exploited in fishing and farming along the shores of Lake Volta.
The two boys and one girl had been forced to weed, plant and harvest crops from a farm. The boys had also been forced to fish while the girl, Angel*, processed the fish and prepare food for selling.
One of the boys, Charles,* had been working for one and a half years, six days a week. He said that he was emotionally and physically abused, and has a scar from a knife thrown at him by the fisherman who enslaved him. The other boy, Justin,* had been working six days a week and suffering from physical violence for three years. In addition to fishing and farming, he was expected to cook for the fisherman and his entire family. He expressed anger that while he was forced to work, the fisherman’s own children were cared for and sent to school.
The children are receiving medical care for ailments including malaria and ringworm, and have been placed in a safe care home where their immediate needs can be met. One suspect has been arrested in this case.
This is the first rescue by an IJM-trained NGO partner in Ghana. We celebrate CARITAS' work and the increased chance that more traffickers will be held accountable because of it.
When our teams not only assist local authorities with investigations and rescues, but partner with other NGOs to equip them to do the same, we become a catalyst for cultural change in the region. As the number of successful rescues of children from slavery on the shores of Lake Volta increases, it will become less likely that traffickers will find forced child labor to be worthwhile. We also ensure that the work continues and expands regardless of our presence.