Three boys, estimated to be 9, 11 and 16 years old were rescued last month in a collaboration between police, the anti-trafficking unit and the department of social welfare.
The 11 year old, Alex*, is believed to be a victim of child trafficking, while the 16- and 9-year-old boys were determined to be child labor cases. Two suspects were arrested.
Alex had worked for one of the suspects who ran a fishing business. He explained that he had been put to work scooping water from the boat, diving into the lake to detangle nets, and setting nets to catch fish. All this without any prior experience of swimming. Often, he would have to wake up at midnight to go to work, not returning until midday. He was physically abused, but never received medical care of any kind for his injuries.
Alex is now receiving care at a temporary shelter while the department of social welfare and IJM work to trace his family.