ACCRA, GHANA – In May, Ghanaian police, the Department of Social Welfare and IJM conducted an operation to rescue three children, two boys and one girl, who had been trafficked into the fishing industry.
The two boys, aged 10 and 13 had been working on Lake Volta casting nets, bailing water and paddling the fishing boats for one and two years respectively. They worked six days a week, overnight from 11PM to 7AM. They had both been moved four times to new communities as the supply of fish dwindled in one place after another.
A 14-year-old girl was also rescued. She had been in school until less than a year ago when she was trafficked from her home to the lake. She had been promised that she would continue to go to school, but instead she worked six days a week scaling, frying and smoking fish and doing other chores.
Virtue* one of the boys, said, “I am very happy that I was rescued, and I want to go back to school and become a teacher.”
All of the children expressed their desired to return to their mothers.
The children have been placed at a care home and are abiding by COVID-19 safety protocols. The IJM aftercare team will continue providing training to equip the new staff at the care home to provide trauma-informed care for the children. Together with the Department of Social Welfare, IJM social workers will locate family members of the children and assess the safety of their homes before the children are reunited with their families.
Police investigators and IJM staff are travelling to various communities around the country to locate the families of origin of the rescued victims, as well as carrying out further investigations in relation to the legal case.