Why parents have to check background of job recruiters

BY: Augustina Tawiah
Courtesy of IOM
Courtesy of IOM

It is the hope of every parent to see his/her children prosper - that is why they work hard to provide for them and sacrifice daily to give them a better life than they had.

Unfortunately, however, financial constraints some parents encounter make it very difficult for them to provide their children with the best.

As a result, some parents find other avenues to help their children develop themselves and be self-sufficient later in life.

For many parents in the rural areas, their children travelling to the towns and cities gives them hope for a better life.

They, therefore, give their children away to relatives, friends, sometimes strangers and lately agents who promise them greener pastures and job opportunities abroad or in the city for their children.

Unfortunately, when the children get to their destinations, they end up being trafficked by the very people who had promised their parents job opportunities, often forcing the children to work under dangerous conditions.

This is why the call by the National Project Officer of the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) Ghana, Mr Kojo Wilmot, for parents to investigate the background of people who come to them promising better lives for their children abroad is crucial.

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In an interview with Junior Graphic, Mr Wilmot explained that some of such children ended up being trafficked once they left the country, stressing that many Ghanaian youth in similar circumstances had found themselves stranded in places such as Libya and other European countries.

According to the IOM, in 2016, a total of 5,636 Ghanaians (4,933 men, 170 women and 533 children, of which 499 were unaccompanied migrant children) arrived in Italy by boat in search of better lives and opportunities.

We are all aware of the terrible way irregular migrants are being treated in Libya by the Libyans.

Migrants attempting to cross from Africa to Europe often tell horrifying stories of imprisonment, brutality and exploitation as they pass through Libya.

A recent CNN expose about Black migrants being auctioned as slaves readily comes to mind.

In the CNN story, some of the migrants painted a picture of Libya as a place where sub-Saharan migrants journeying to Europe were routinely captured, robbed and exploited by locals.

"In Libya, you cannot do anything," said Ike, one of the migrants quoted in the story. "If you're walking in the street, you're in trouble. If you work, Libyan men won't pay you. If you ask for your money, they'll threaten you. The father has guns, the mother has guns, the children have guns -- they all have ammunition to threaten Blacks," he said.

On Monday, July 17, 2018, the BBC published a story of eight migrants who suffocated to death when they were locked in an abandoned lorry container in Libya’s western city of Zuwara.

Last month, the BBC reported of a ship carrying 226 migrants rescued from the sea near the Libyan coast, because a subject following Italy’s attach on Malta for refusing to take in the ship of migrants.

However, it is not only abroad that children are falling victim to such scams. Here in our country this problem persists, where relatives, job agencies and individuals go to especially the villages where poverty abounds, make various wonderful promises to parents to release their children to them for better lives in the cities.

However, once they are in the city, they traffic the children or make them work under dangerous conditions. In some situations, the children are trafficked to fishing and farming communities where they engage in hazardous forms of child labour.

It is important for parents to know that although it is good to seek the well-being of their children, it is very important for them to ensure that they thoroughly investigate the backgrounds of those they entrust their children to so that they do not end up as victims of migration.